Traditional Ethiopian Beef Tibs

After many, many, many trips to a little Ethiopian restaurant here in Toronto (Nazarth’s Café) I decided I would try my hand at it. Traditionally Ethiopian cuisine is made of spicy vegetable and meat dishes served as a thick stew or “wat” which is served on top of “injera” which is like a large spongy sourdough pancake.  When served your dish you use the injera to pick up the wat and enjoy the meal with your hands! Pictured above is my version of this Ethiopian classic with a beef and vegetarian dish separated with a hard cheese on top of large iceberg lettuce leaves instead of the classic injera. I find using lettuce instead of injera to make the meal a lot lighter and allows you to enjoy a large meal without feeling overly full! plus it eliminates grains, gluten and sugars.

Tibs, what I have chosen to make for today’s post is one of my favorite dishes. To make a successful Tibs you will need two key ingredients, Berbere Spice and Niter Kibbeh, which are often best prepared the day before you want to make your dish. Niter Kibbeh is essentially a spiced butter that is slow cooked until the milk solids from the butter can be strained out leaving a clarified butter. The whole process takes a minimum of 2 hours cooking on low.

*NOTE* The SCD diet lists fenugreek as an “illegal” spice, however, I have chosen to challenge this and include it as many clinical studies have found benefit to digestion with the moderate consumption of this spice. I would give a note of caution to use your own judgment with this dish as some people in the early stages of SCD, Paleo, GAPS or elimination diets will not tolerate a lot of spice and often find it can aggravate their stomachs. If you find you have tolerated spices quite well before then go for it and enjoy this awesome meal!


Finally the last thing you will need to create is a simple Berbere Spice blend. Feel free to process this mixture if you want to make it more of a powder. I choose to leave the blend as is. Visually it is stunning when mixed into your meat or veg. Other than that it is time for you to try it! I have linked the recipes below as PDF’s. If you feel so inclined to be authentic then give Goorsha a try when you make this. Goorsha is an act of friendship often seen practiced when eating Ethiopian food. A person uses his or her right hand to tear off a piece of injera, roll some wat in it and essentially feed their friend.  It is said the larger the Goorsha the stronger the friendship, although this practice has been slowly disappearing.

I will hopefully follow this post up with information on the vegetarian version of this, Mesir Wat. Mesir wat is a great and spicy and uses lentils instead of meat.




PDF—–>  Ethiopian Beef Tibs  <—– PDF

PDF—–>  Berbere Spice Blend  <—–PDF

PDF—–>  Niter Kibbeh  <—–PDF

Leave a Reply