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Zigni is a very popular Ethiopian dish. It is a kind of stew prepared with variety of meats. The taste of the the dish is quite hot and zesty. The chili freaks can easily consume this dish and those who like mild chili taste should avoid it.

In zigni the use of spices is quite extreme that makes the dish excessively hot.


Zigni is said to be a traditional dish of Eritrean cuisine. Ethiopian/Eritrean cuisine makes good use of chilies and spices and it is evident by the use of these ingredients in this dish.

Zigni Recipe: Preparation Overview

Zigni is traditionally prepared with beef. The other ingredients for the stew include onion, tomatoes and garlic. Preferably, canned tomatoes are used that includes juice as well. Vegetable oil is used for sautéing the ingredients and salt and pepper are incorporated for seasoning.

A special ‘Berbere’ is prepared for providing the actual spice and zest to the zigni. This spice mix may also be used in other dishes. The berbere may include various spices and peppers such as cardamom, fenugreek, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground coriander and allspice. Among the peppers; cayenne and paprika are fondly added.

The berbere ingredients are roasted in a dry skillet and stored in a jar for later use. The stew is prepared by browning the meat and stir frying with berbere, onion and garlic. Tomatoes are added with the juice in the final stage and the meat is simmered for few hours until cooked through.

Variation of zigni recipe is prepared with chicken as well.

Serving and Eating of Zigni

Zigni is usually served as a main dish and eaten with Ethiopian bread called ‘Injera’. The stew should be served sizzling hot and garnished with chopped coriander or parsley.

Nutritional Facts Related to Zigni

Zigni is considered a nutritional dish as it contains protein due to the presence of meat. However, chicken version is always healthier than beef version. Those having allergy form excess spices and chili should avoid consuming zigni.