Ethiopia : Shiro

What you need

For a serving of 2 – 4

  •  1 heaped cup of shiro flour
  • 3 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of mashed garlic
  • ¾ cup of oil
  • 4 cups of boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon, or cube of vegetable stock
  • Salt to taste
  • Mild green chilli (optional)


On medium heat, lightly fry the onions in the oil. Add the garlic and vegetable stock. Mix until the onions and garlic start to brown.

Add water and when it starts to bubble, add the shiro flour. Use a whisk to make sure that there are no clumps. If the shiro thickens too quickly, add a bit more boiled water.

Let it cook for 10 minutes, ensuring that it doesn’t burn by stirring intermittently. Add a bit more water if necessary, but remember the consistency should be slightly thick.

A few minutes before serving, you can drop in the chilli to give your shiro a fragrant bite.



    Robel Temesgen


    Robel is an artist and lecturer living and working in Addis Ababa. I was lucky enough to be able to chat with him at some of his favourite places to eat and to see his studio, where as they say, “the magic happens.” Check out his thought-provoking and beautiful work, and keep up to date with where he is exhibiting:

    Recipe and Preparation

    Berhan Kidan


    Berhan Kidan is one of a skilled team of chefs at Gursha, a new restaurant in the centre of Addis Ababa. Each dish is prepared with care and attention and the restaurant is spacious, comfortable and beautiful.

    Camera and Edit

    Tuleka Prah


    Title: Dreams of Tomorrow

    Artist: Frozen Silence

Video Transcript

“My favourite thing to eat is shiro. I love shiro. Not only eating, but actually also love to make it. I like to make shiro; it’s very easy to make and the spice; the mix that’s already been prepared is prepared by my mother, you know. Mostly. And maybe that’s why I just like it a lot. And it still keeps me in connection to a family roots. Every family, every person have their own touch.

The components that goes to it are beans. Beans, including, chickpeas for instance, the bean itself, and what else? It could have some berbere, which is the chilli; the spicy chilli, dried and grinded. It’s a powder basically that I’m talking about – a mix of all this. It has garlic in it. In some cases it might have some ginger as well. What else would it have? It has salt – a little bit of salt. And that’s pretty much it, I guess. I’m not exactly sure. But, in every family, it could also change. The ingredients could be changing a little bit. Or the portions as well. And then everything will go together to be grinded and it’s just a refined powder.

It’s very simple. But also very fresh and very tasteful.”