Negat’s Eritrean Zigni

Negat’s Eritrean Zigni

In September, our Eritrean, and Bristol-based Chef Negat was the host of our supper club “Flavours of Eritrea”. During the evening Negat prepared and served a mezze of three delicious courses, during which she told her story, from her beloved East African homeland, to Sweden, to Bristol, weaving her heritage and memories into her beautiful food.

Here is Negat’s recipe for Zigni – a spicy tomato-based aromatic stew which was the star of the evening. It’s traditionally served with Injera, a light Eritrean flatbread which tastes like sourdough, but it will just as easily go with shop-bought wraps, or steamed rice.


400g finely diced chicken
Splash of vegetable oil
2 onions finely chopped
4 garlic gloves, crushed
3 tblsp Berbere spice mix (see below)
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato purree
1 handful fresh coriander

The dominant flavour in Zigni is the Berbere pepper mix it’s prepared with. If you’re based in Bristol, you can buy this from shops such as Bristol Sweet Mart, otherwise you can easily make your own. Once you’ve made it, it will keep for a few weeks in an airtight container

1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground fenugreek
1 tsp ground black pepper
1tsp ground coriander
1tsp ground cardamom
1tsp ground cloves
1tsp ground allspice
1tsp ground cinnamon
1 tblsp salt
7 tblsp mixed mild and hot paprika


  1. Fry the onions in the oil until soft. Add the garlic and fry for a few seconds, then add the meat and fry until golden
  2. Add the spice mix and allow the flavours to toast for a few seconds, before stirring in the cans of tomatoes and puree.
  3. Simmer for 20 minutes, then serve with a handful of chopped coriander

    If you want to be really authentic, serve with warm boiled eggs – one per person