Ethiopian Chickpea Flour Crackers in Berbere Wine Sauce (Shimbra Asa Wot)

Deniz and I had this dish at a restaurant once and were so impressed we learned to make it at home.  The saucy chickpea crackers and the sauce give the dish a roasted meatiness that is not common in vegetarian dishes.  It’s a great compliment to other Ethiopian dishes, especially those with tumeric, ginger and garlic, like kik alicha and tikil gomen.  This recipe was based off a recipe that we found in Teff Love:  Adventures in Ethiopian Cooking, with some modifications to fit our vegetarian diet and tastes.


  • 1 T vegetable oil

Chickpea flour crackers

  • 2¼ c chickpea flour
  • 1½ t berbere
  • 1 t salt
  • ¼ t turmeric
  • ½ c water
  • ¼ c extra-virgin olive oil


  • 3 onions, minced
  • 1½ t salt
  • 8 T butter
  • 1 t cumin, ground
  • ½ t cardamom, ground
  • ¼ t black pepper
  • pinch ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds (optional)
  • 4 T berbere, ground
  • 2 T paprika
  • 5 c vegetable broth (2 Knorr vegetarian bullion dissolved in 5 c boiling water)
  • 1 c wine


To make the crackers:

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread the vegetable oil on top to cover.

Mix all of the Chickpea Flour Cracker ingredients together in a large bowl, first mixing the dry ingredients together and then adding and mixing in the wet ingredients.  Knead the mixture with your hands, until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and the dough is smooth.

Roll the dough into a long thin cylinder approximately ½ inches in diameter.

Cut the rolled dough into ¼ thick discs.

Place the discs onto the oiled baking sheet/parchment paper.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Turn over the pieces and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.

To make the sauce:

Combine all the dry spices in the Sauce a small bowl.

Heat a large saucepan on medium heat.  Add the chopped onions and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the onions from burning.

Reduce the heat to medium low.  Add the butter, stir to coat the onions, cover and cook for another 10 minutes.

Add the the combined dry spices in the Sauce list.  Stir to evenly coat the onions and sizzle for 30 seconds.

Add the vegetable broth and wine. Cover and cook on medium heat for another 15 minutes.

Add the crackers to the sauce.  Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the crackers are softened.

Serve with injera.


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