Eritrean Chicken


It is a good thing to try new foods. You are able to experience new taste buds going off in your mouth and it really can help broaden your palate sensors. I made a new friend in Costa Rica a few months ago, she is from Eritrea. She brought a lot of spices from home to have during her stay here. One dish she would often cook is a spicy Eritrean Chicken dish. It is loaded with flavor and spices that aren’t as familiar to me as others are. After she left, she gave me a bag of Eritrean Spice, deep red in color and a mixture of many different spices. I did my best to recreate her East African meal, this is what I came up with!

Delicious Rating: I don’t know if this makes any sense and I hope it doesn’t sound horribly horrible (not my intention at all) but as this was cooking it super smelled Africany (*not a word). It also tasted like it was from Africa so I was feeling pretty good like I nailed it! But it was really the mix of spices that I had, nothing on my part. The combination of tomatoes with the boiled down onions is really something to taste up against the spiciness and depth of the Eritrean spices. Really flavorful and a very delicious easy recipe & meal!


5.0 from 2 reviews
Eritrean Chicken
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yields: 2 Servings
A tasty East African dish! Serve over rice.
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small purple onion, diced
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp tumeric
  • 6 Tbsp Eritrean Spice
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 chicken legs
  • 2 chicken thighs
  1. Cook onions in ½ water for 10 minutes over medium heat, in a pot with lid on.
  2. Add the butter and tumeric to pot and stir until well combined.
  3. Add in the Eritrean Spice and combine well.
  4. Add in ½ cup water with the tomatoes and tomato sauce.
  5. Bring to a boil and turn to a simmer.
  6. Cook sauce for 20 minutes.
  7. Stir in the garlic and add the chicken.
  8. Cook with the lid on for 30 minutes or until chicken falls off the bone.

It seems a bit odd to cook onion down in water, but by the end of the recipe it has all disappeared and leaves a nice cooked onion taste.

The butter helps thicken the sauce and gives it a depth of flavor. Try Ghee instead of butter if you have that on hand.

Really submerge the chicken in the sauce so it can cook all the way through evenly.




  1. I bet the spice she gave you is berbere. My son is from Ethiopia which boarders with Eritrea and they cook similar food 🙂 mmmmm….now I want some Injera and Tibs 😉

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