Sega Wat - Ethiopian Meat Stew. Photography: Yash Maramangallam, pexels
Sega Wat - Ethiopian Meat Stew. Photography: Yash Maramangallam, pexels

Sega Wat – Spicy Ethiopian meat stew

Wat is meat stew, served at Ethiopian feasts. This wat is a beef-based, spicy variation found in Jewish Ethiopian communities in Ethiopia and Israel.

Wat is a general name in Ethiopia for meat stews of chicken, beef, fish or lamb served on top of sour injera. What they have in common, apart from the meat component, is the intense seasoning, which at least in Ethiopia is also very spicy. Sega Wat is a meat stew in a rich and intoxicating sauce. This version originated in the kitchens of Addis Ababa. It is quite spicy and it tastes strongly of Berbere – a spice mixture made up of Ethiopian chili peppers and local paprika. Berbere, as well as other unique spice mixes from Ethiopian cuisine, can be found in specialty stores or prepared at home from hot peppers and fenugreek seeds, among other things.

Ingredients for Sega Wat - Spicy Ethiopian meat stew

  • 3 onions medium, cut into small cubes
  • 1-2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1.1 lbs (500 grams) beef shoulder cut into cubes
  • 3 teaspoons Berbere (spicy Ethiopian paprika mix - available at specialty spice stores)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste


  • 1. Heat oil in a large cast iron pot. Add onions and fry until translucent over medium heat. Add garlic and meat cubes. Fry for 7-8 minutes. Add berbere, stir and continue frying for another 2 minutes.

  • 2. Add tomato paste, 2 cups boiling water and salt - and bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat and cook for about an hour, stirring once or twice during cooking.

  • 3. Serve with injera bread.

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