Explore the rich culinary heritage of Eritrea with this traditional dish, Tsebhi Derho. A beloved staple in Eritrean cuisine, Tsebhi Derho is a flavorful chicken stew simmered in a blend of aromatic spices, onions, tomatoes, and clarified butter, resulting in a dish that's both hearty and comforting. This recipe encapsulates the essence of Eritrean gastronomy, offering a delightful fusion of bold flavors and textures. Whether enjoyed with injera, the country's signature flatbread, or alongside other Eritrean dishes, Tsebhi Derho promises to transport your taste buds on a journey through the vibrant culinary landscape of Eritrea.

Here's a recipe for Tsebhi Derho, the Eritrean chicken stew:


  • 1 kg chicken pieces (preferably bone-in for added flavor)
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons berbere spice blend (adjust according to spice preference)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons clarified butter (niter kibbeh) or olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Water, as needed
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped (for garnish)


1- Heat the clarified butter or olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.

2- Add the finely chopped onions and sauté until they turn translucent, about 5-7 minutes.

3- Stir in the minced garlic and grated ginger, and cook for another 2 minutes until fragrant.

4- Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste to the pot, stirring well to combine. Cook for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down and release their juices.

5- Sprinkle the berbere spice blend over the onion and tomato mixture. Stir well to evenly distribute the spices.

6- Add the chicken pieces to the pot, coating them with the onion, tomato, and spice mixture.

7- Pour in enough water to just cover the chicken pieces. Season with salt to taste.

8- Bring the stew to a gentle simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let the stew cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Stir occasionally and add more water if needed to prevent the stew from drying out.

9- Once the chicken is cooked, taste the stew and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

10- Serve the Tsebhi Derho hot, garnished with fresh cilantro or parsley. Enjoy it with injera, rice, or crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

This flavorful Tsebhi Derho recipe captures the essence of Eritrean cuisine, offering a tantalizing blend of spices and aromatics that will surely delight your taste buds.

Nutritional Values:

Here's an approximate breakdown of the nutritional values for the main ingredients used in the Tsebhi Derho recipe:

Chicken (1 kg bone-in chicken pieces):

  • Calories: Approximately 1500 kcal
  • Protein: Approximately 200 grams
  • Fat: Approximately 75 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams


  • Excellent source of protein, essential for muscle growth and repair.
  • Provides essential vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, phosphorus, and selenium.
  • Supports bone health and immune function.

Onions (2 large onions):

  • Calories: Approximately 100 kcal
  • Protein: Approximately 2 grams
  • Fat: Approximately 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 25 grams
  • Fiber: Approximately 4 grams


  • Rich in antioxidants like quercetin, which may have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Contains prebiotic fibers that promote gut health.
  • May help lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of certain cancers.

Tomatoes (3 ripe tomatoes):

  • Calories: Approximately 60 kcal
  • Protein: Approximately 3 grams
  • Fat: Approximately 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 15 grams
  • Fiber: Approximately 5 grams


  • High in vitamin C, which supports immune function and skin health.
  • Rich in antioxidants like lycopene, which may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
  • Contains potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and muscle function.

Berbere spice blend (3 tablespoons):

  • Calories: Approximately 30 kcal
  • Protein: Approximately 1 gram
  • Fat: Approximately 1.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 6 grams
  • Fiber: Approximately 2 grams


  • Contains spices like chili peppers, which may boost metabolism and aid in weight loss.
  • Rich in antioxidants that help fight inflammation and oxidative stress.
  • Some spices in the blend, like cumin and coriander, may aid digestion.

Garlic (4 cloves):

  • Calories: Approximately 20 kcal
  • Protein: Approximately 1 gram
  • Fat: Approximately 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 5 grams
  • Fiber: Approximately 0.5 grams


  • Contains compounds like allicin, which may have antibacterial and antiviral properties.
  • Supports heart health by helping lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • May boost immune function and reduce the severity of colds and flu.

Ginger (1-inch piece):

  • Calories: Approximately 5 kcal
  • Protein: Approximately 0 grams
  • Fat: Approximately 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 1 gram
  • Fiber: Approximately 0 grams


  • Known for its anti-nausea properties and ability to ease digestive discomfort.
  • Contains gingerol, a bioactive compound with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
  • May help reduce muscle pain and soreness.

Tomato paste (2 tablespoons):

  • Calories: Approximately 30 kcal
  • Protein: Approximately 1 gram
  • Fat: Approximately 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 7 grams
  • Fiber: Approximately 1 gram


  • Concentrated source of lycopene, providing even more antioxidant benefits than fresh tomatoes.
  • Contains vitamins A and C, which support vision and immune function.
  • Adds rich flavor and color to dishes without the need for excessive oil or salt.

Clarified butter or olive oil (3 tablespoons):

  • Calories: Approximately 360 kcal (for clarified butter)
  • Protein: Approximately 0 grams
  • Fat: Approximately 39 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 0 grams
  • Fiber: Approximately 0 grams


  • Healthy source of fats, which are essential for brain function and hormone production.
  • Provides fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E and vitamin K.
  • Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on factors such as the specific ingredients used and cooking methods.


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