Zignie, Eritrea | 50 kitchens, one city - 50 recipes, 50 restaurants, 50 nations | 50 kitchens, one city | DW | 24.05.2017
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A culinary world tour through Berlin

Zignie, Eritrea

A traditional dish in Eritrea, beef in spiced sauce is served with Injera, a sour flat bread that acts as a plate. It's on the menu at Abissinia restaurant, run by Dantina Woldebruk-Horst.

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Video: Cooking step-by-step


Dantina Woldebruk-Horst: "I never used to be able to cook well."

Dantina Woldebruk-Horst came to Berlin as a war refugee in 1990. The first few months were difficult for the young girl. She lived in a refugee center, nobody spoke her language, and the heavy German food upset her stomach.

Dantina Woldebruk-Horst talking on phone in her restaurant (Photo: Lena Ganssmann)

Dantina Woldebruk-Horst

But Dantina Woldebruk-Horst was able to get used to things. After finishing school, she trained as a tailor. She realized, however, that her talent was elsewhere. She was an excellent waitress and good at working with people. So she didn't hesitate long when, in 2010, a friend asked her to go into business together and open a restaurant, the Abissinia.

Abissinia in Berlin-Schöneberg

But after just three weeks, her friend - who was also the chef - decided to bail out. Rather than throwing in the towel, Dantina Woldebruk-Horst worked day and night and learned to cook. Today, her Eritrean-Ethiopian cuisine is famous well outside of Schöneberg.




Serves 4


  • 1 kg beef
  • 2 kg onions
  • 1 l canola oil
  • 8 T berbere powder, a hot spice mixture
  • 12 T tomato paste
  • 6 t pressed ginger
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • Salt


Dice onions and cook in a large pot for 15 minutes without oil. Stir continuously to prevent onions from burning. Add oil and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring carefully. Add berbere powder and stir thoroughly. Deglaze with water, then simmer for 15 minutes. Add tomato paste and ginger, crush garlic cloves, chop finely, and then add to pot. Simmer ingredients together. After 20 minutes, add beef, season with salt to taste, and then simmer for at least one hour at medium heat. Stir occasionally. Serve with injera (Eritrean flatbread), cottage cheese, and salad.


Editor's note: Unfortunately Dantina Woldebruk-Horst had to close the restaurant by now due to health problems.

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