Go Back
+ servings
Ethiopian meatballs with berbere spices cooked in a tomato sauces with couscous, chickpeas and spinach

Ethiopian Berbere Meatball Stew

Abi Olayiwola
Delicious and comforting meatballs prepared with warming Ethiopian spice blend, and cooked in a rich tomato sauce with couscous, chickpeas and spinach.
4.88 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine African, East African, Ethiopian
Servings 4
Calories 551 kcal


Berbere Spice Blend

  • 3 tablespoons Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon Onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Fenugreek

Berbere Meatballs

  • 250 g Mincemeat
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 3 tablespoon Berbere spice mix
  • 20 g Breadcrumbs
  • ½ Egg
  • 3 tablespoons Oil
  • ½ cup Onion frozen or half, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Berbere spice mix
  • 1 can Tomatoes 400g
  • 1 cup Stock
  • 1 can Chickpea
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup Couscous
  • 2 handfuls Baby spinach


Berbere Spice Mix

  • Combine the spices in a bowl and mix thoroughly

Berbere Meatballs

  • Pour the mincemeat, salt, 2 tablespoons Berbere spice mix and breadcrumbs in a bowl.
  • Break an egg, mix it and pour half into the bowl.
  • Mix the content of the bowl with your hands.
  • Roll into small sized balls and place on a tray.
  • Heat the oil in a sauce pan under low heat.
  • Add the meatballs into the pan, making sure they are not too close. Allow to brown and turn over gently so both sides are seared. You may need to do this in more than one batch depending on pan size.
  • Transfer the meatballs to a plate.

Berbere Meatball Soup

  • Add the onions into the pan that was used to fry the meatballs. Add a little oil if more is needed.
  • Fry the onions until translucent, then pour in the garlic and one tablespoon Berbere spice mix. Stir continuously for 30 secs.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, stock, chickpeas and salt. Stir, then add the meatballs.
  • Cover the pan and allow to simmer for 10 mins.
  • Reduce the heat to very low. Stir the couscous into the pan and leave for 5 mins.
  • Stir in the spinach, remove from heat and leave for another 5 mins for the couscous.
  • Serve.


Calories: 551kcalCarbohydrates: 92gProtein: 14gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 1355mgPotassium: 488mgFiber: 11gSugar: 45gVitamin A: 2408IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 102mgIron: 6mg
Keyword Meatball stew
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!