Ethiopian Beef Stew Key Wat in Instant Pot

Ethiopian Beef Stew Instant Pot

Ethiopian Beef Stew Key Wat is a hearty beef stew seasoned with warm and earthy Ethiopian spices.  In this simple recipe, I pressure cook beef stew meat with an Ethiopian spice blend to a melt-in-your-mouth perfection.

Key Wat is a signature dish in most Ethiopian restaurants.  ‘Wat’ or ‘Wot‘ is an Ethiopian style stew or curry, that you can prepare it with chicken, beef, lamb, and a variety of vegetables.

It is typically cooked in clarified butter, Ghee, and uses a spice blend called ‘Berbere‘.

Berbere is a mix of nutmeg, cloves, cumin, coriander, fennel, cinnamon, cardamom and more.

Ethiopian Spice Blend: Berbere

Key Wat is traditionally made with a spice blend called Berbere Seasoning, which is a combination of warm whole spices like cumin, cardamom, coriander, and fenugreek, garlic, cloves, turmeric, grated ginger root, black pepper, salt, paprika, cinnamon, and dried red chiles, that are toasted and ground together.

If using the berbere spice blend, add 1-1.5 tablespoons​ (depending on how spicy you like it).

I find the pre-made spice blend to be on the spicier side.

So, I boost that flavor by adding 2 teaspoons of coriander powder, plus salt to taste.​  This combination works great for my family’s taste.

Ethiopian Beef Stew Key Wat

Substitute for Berbere Blend: (using Garam Masala)

Berbere spice blend provides a distinctive tangy flavor to the lentils, stews and curries.

Initially, I wasn’t too keen on buying a speciality spice blend that I wouldn’t use “that” often, so I looked up the composition of the Berbere and realized that this spice combination is very similar to the Garam Masala blend, which I always have on hand.

So I used that, with a few additional spices to replicate the flavor of a berbere blend. The result was super successful.

In this recipe, I also add an additional, but optional, ingredient- fried onions.

I like how just a tablespoon of fried onions adds a deep color and slow-cooked taste to this stew, that you typically get from fried-browned onions.

A bowl of Ethiopian Beef Stew Key Wat, placed on a polka dot dinner napkinServing Suggestion for Ethiopian Beef Stew- Key Wat:

In an Ethiopian restaurant, Key Wat is served family style over a spongy flatbread called Injera.

Injere is a fermented flatbread that pairs very well with the stew flavors.

But, just like pizza dough, it takes some planning and time to get the right consistency. I personally like the flavors of couscous with this stew.

I pair Key Wat with a Red lentil stew called Misir Wot and ‘butter couscous’ along with a garden salad dressed with lemon vinaigrette.

My kids like the fall-off tender texture of the beef, so I cook it for 30 minutes.  For a more firm texture, reduce the cooking time to 25 minutes.

Using Chicken or Lamb in this Recipe

You can make this recipe with lamb or chicken as well.

If using Lamb pieces, adjust cooking time to 15 minutes.

With boneless skinless chicken cubes, reduce the cooking time to 5 minutes.

You can also make this dish more hearty by adding some root vegetables like carrots, potatoes or parsnips.

Popular pairing: Red Lentil Stew- Misir Wot:

Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew- Misir Wot

Stove-Top Instructions:

I usually make this recipe in my electric pressure cooker, the instant pot.  But you can also make Key Wat in a traditional stove-top pressure cooker.

Simply follow your cooker’s meat cooking times and follow this recipe.  You can also make this dish on the stove-top, using a sauce pot or dutch oven.  Use a heavy bottom pan, since that can evenly distribute the heat and withstand a longer cooking time.

Simply follow all the instructions.  Cook the meat on medium heat for 35-45 minutes.  Remember to stir every 5-7 minutes or so, till the meat is fork tender.

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Ethiopian Beef Stew Instant Pot
Ethiopian Beef Stew | Key Wat in Instant Pot
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

Ethiopian Beef Stew Key Wat, is one of our favorites dishes to eat at an Ethiopian restaurant. 'Wat' or 'Wot' is a delicious Ethiopian style stew or curry that may be prepared with chicken, beef, lamb, and a variety of vegetables. It is cooked in clarified butter, Ghee, and uses a spice blend called 'Berbere'.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Ethiopian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 461 kcal
Author: Spice Cravings
Ingredients
  • 1.5 lbs. beef stew meat
  • 3 tablespoons Ghee or Butter
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic crushed 1/2 inch ginger + 2 cloves garlic OR 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder + 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon fried onions optional
  • 3 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt if using Berbere blend, check for salt in ingredients
1- 1.5 tablespoons of Berbere Seasoning +2 tsp Coriander Powder OR use the following blend
Instructions
  1. Prep: Using a mini food processor, pulse together onion chunks and ginger-garlic, 8-10 times. Alternatively, finely chop them.
  2. Turn the instant pot on Sauté mode. Wait 30 seconds till the inner pot is hot and add ghee or butter. Add chopped onion, ginger-garlic, turmeric and salt and cook till slightly caramelized, about a minute.
  3. Add all dry spices, tomato paste and 1/4 cup water, stir well and cook for a minute.  Then, add the remaining water and beef cubes in the pot. Press "cancel", close the lid and set valve to 'Sealing' position. Press Meat/Stew, 30 minutes. Wait for Natural release of pressure.

  4. Open the Instant pot lid and check for seasoning. Add sugar. This is optional, but highly recommended. The pinch of sugar brings together all the warm spices in the stew. Serve with couscous with a garden salad dressed with fresh lemon vinaigrette, or, the traditional sourdough flatbread, Injera.
Stove top recipe
  1. You can also make this dish on the stove-top, using a sauce pot or dutch oven.  Use a heavy bottom pan, since that can evenly distribute the heat and withstand a longer cooking time.

  2. Simply follow all the instructions above. Cook the meat on medium heat for 35-45 minutes. Remember to stir every 5-7 minutes or so, till the meat is fork tender.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.

 

Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition Facts
Ethiopian Beef Stew | Key Wat in Instant Pot
Amount Per Serving
Calories 461 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 38%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 161mg 54%
Sodium 753mg 31%
Potassium 608mg 17%
Total Carbohydrates 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 3g
Protein 47g 94%
Vitamin A 15.1%
Vitamin C 10%
Calcium 3.4%
Iron 29.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Key Wat is a hearty beef stew seasoned with warm and earthy Ethiopian spices.  I pressure cook it to a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness! Try this easy recipe! #spicecravings #beef #stew #curry #ethiopian #food #foodie #foodblogger #delish #yum #tasty #wprecipemaker #feedfeed #instantpot #instantpotrecipes #pressurecooker ##recipes #easyrecipe  #instagood #foodphotography #delicious

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