Sweet Potato Berbere Stew

by | May 19, 2020

homemade Ethiopian potato stew

Sweet Potato Berbere Stew

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This stew is perfect if you’re in the mood for Ethiopian takeout. It’s rich and flavorful without being overly heavy. It’s a great vegetarian option as well! I also made Spiced Brussels Sprouts and Carrots as a side dish.


  • Author: Megan Collins
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Category: stew
  • Cuisine: Ethiopian


  • 1 Tb Ethiopian Berbere Blend
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Buffy’s Slayer Helper Blend
  • 1 Tb lemon juice, fresh or reconstituted
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 cups sweet potatoes, chopped in 1-inch pieces – In my farmer’s market bundle, I got a humongous sweet potato. The whole thing ended up being around 6 cups. In your case of maybe not having a giant mutant sweet potato, 3 medium sweet potatoes or yams would do.
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans, rinsed canned or precooked
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, not drained – I used fire roasted, but any kind is fine
  • 1/2 cup of frozen green peas – I have also used green beans, kale, or any other green veggie. Use what you got around the house! Or nothing at all!
  • 1 cup stock, any kind will do, or water in a pinch
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked rice, prepared according to package


  1. First, in a small bowl, mix together the spices, lemon juice, and olive oil to make a paste. This will give the spices time to hydrate and open up. Note: If you like your food on the mild or medium side, you can either reduce the amount of Berbere, or substitute half with smoked paprika and that would work just fine. I am a bit of a hothead, so I went full spicy on this recipe.
  2. In a large heavy pot, add 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite oil, then add the chopped onions, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until translucent. I used my electric pressure cooker for this recipe, but you can use anything, really. I have even done this recipe in the slow cooker. On the stove, you will have to do a little more watching, and a little less “setting and forgetting,” and in the slow cooker you can dump everything in, set it on low heat for 4-6 hours and come home to a tasty dinner!
  3. Add Berbere paste and stir, coating the onions. Let cook 1-2 minutes. This will “bloom” the spices, giving them a deeper richer flavor in the final dish.
  4. Add the chopped sweet potatoes, stir to coat in the spices, and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add garbanzo beans, can of tomatoes and water. I happened to have exactly 1 cup of leftover garbanzo beans from another recipe. Would it be the end of the world if you put the whole can of beans in there? Absolutely not. Live your live. Eat all the beans.
  6. Cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 45 minutes. In the electric pressure cooker, I set it at high pressure (stew setting) for 35 minutes.
  7. Remove stew from heat and stir vigorously so that the potatoes start to break down and fall apart. Add the frozen peas. The peas or whatever green vegetable you decide to use, will cook just enough from the residual heat of the stew.
  8. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then serve with rice.

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