I’m so pleased to be sharing this shiro recipe from my friend Rita. She and I were in Ethiopia together in June 2005 getting our daughters. We stayed at the guesthouse together, watched our kids play soccer together and ate dinner at the Merry Fam restaurant. She learned this recipe from an Ethiopian friend of hers.
Recipe for Shiro
Note: This is a fasting shiro, which means it has no meat or Ethiopian butter in it. You can add small chunks of beef or lamb at the sautéing of the onion stage. The butter is added near the end, but only if it is Ethiopian butter (it is prepared with all sorts of spices) that may not be easy to find in the US.
5 stewing tomatoes
5 small red onions chopped very very finely
two heaping tablespoons of berbere (you can use less, as his makes the shiro pretty spicy)
~5 cups of water
½ cup oil
~ ½ cup Shiro powder
Salt to taste (we used quite a bit)
2 Jalapeño peppers, or other spicy green pepper, cut into long strips
2 tablespoons of Ethiopian Spiced butter (optional)
Put ½ cup of water and finely diced red onions in a pot and bring to boil. Let boil until water almost completely evaporated. Also put tomatoes into separate pot with water and bring to boil. After about ten minutes remove tomatoes and peel off skins. Mash flesh of tomatoes into a pulp.
When the onion water is almost gone, add the oil. Now cook onions until they are browned (this is where you could add the meat). Once brown, add about ½ cup more of water. Bring to boil. Now add berbere. Will form a paste. If paste gets very thick, add water. Keep stirring until it turns a
dark brownish red color and thickens slightly. (about five minutes). Add the tomato pulp. Let cook for fifteen minutes. Add 4 cups of water. Bring to boil. Turn down heat to a simmer. Add the shiro powder a little bit at a time, stirring continuously and breaking up any clumps. Salt to taste. (This is where you could add the butter) After about five minutes, you can add the jalapeño. Let simmer for about fifteen minutes.
Serve over injera
RITA’S NOTES: Since I don’t have the spiced butter, I use a little bit more oil. Also, since I never remember to buy jalapenos, I reduce the number of tomatoes and use about ¼ cup of salsa which I add when I am adding the tomatoes. I also add much more than ½ cup of shiro powder, probably closer to 1 cup. Also, use more salt than you think you should….