Yohanis Gebreyesus gives two techniques for making shiro in his cookbook, Ethiopia: Recipes and Traditions From the Horn of Africa. One involves frying the shiro mix with the onion and garlic before adding hot water, like making roux for bechamel, while the method described here has you make a slurry of the powder and hot water, which is a little more foolproof. I adapted Gebreyesus’s recipe with more onion and garlic, but some cooks add a small amount of tomato or extra berbere during cooking as well.
If you can’t find injera, shiro is delicious eaten with pita, specifically the thinner type with a pocket that can be split open. Serve the shiro over the bread, with plenty of extra on the side to dip into the smooth sauce.
- In a saucepan or small pot, heat oil and fry onion, garlic, and ginger over low heat for a few minutes without letting the mixture brown.
- Meanwhile, slowly whisk shiro powder with 2 cups of hot water until smooth. Add the shiro mixture to the aromatics and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes or so, until the shiro has lost all grittiness and has thickened to a smooth custard-like texture. You may need to add water during cooking if it thickens too quickly.
- Season with salt to taste and add the butter and let simmer for another 5 minutes before serving over injera or other bread.
Tammie Teclemariam is a food and drinks writer and wine professional. Her work appears in Wine Enthusiast, Thrillist, and Eater. She lives in Brooklyn where she shares one fridge with 5 roommates.