Can you eat Ethiopian food when pregnant?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “can you eat Ethiopian food when pregnant?”. We will also discuss Ethiopian food and foods to avoid during pregnancy.

Can you eat Ethiopian food when pregnant?

Yes, Ethiopian food can be eaten when pregnant. Ethiopian food is safe as no raw meat or eggs are involved in the cooking process. 

One should keep in mind to watch out for the spiciness of the dishes though. The dishes can be made with little to no spice added, so it is not an issue.

‘Kitfo’ is a dish prepared with raw minced beef and is only armed up before serving. When pregnant one should avoid this dish or you can order it fully cooked if you are craving for one.

What is Ethiopian food?

Ethiopian food is very exciting and different with all the spices used and the grains that are indigenous to Ethiopia like Sorghum and teff. 

Teff is the main staple grain that is used in Ethiopia to prepare a flatbread or pancake called Injera which is a staple dish like bread in western countries and rice in Asian countries.

Ethiopian food is more communal in nature and is generally served to be shared on a platter with injera being the base which is topped with different stews, curries, sauteed meat, spice blends, etc.

How does Ethiopian food taste?

Ethiopian food is very distinct in taste and flavour which is because of the special spice blend called Berbere which is a base spice added to almost all of the dishes in Ethiopia. The taste profile is a mix of earthy, spicy, tart, sour and pungent flavours.

The Berbere spice mix comprises fenugreek, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, chile peppers, and coriander.

How to eat Ethiopian food?

Ethiopian food is communal and is generally shared with friends and family which is served on a platter. 

Ethiopian food is not really enjoyed unless you get your hands dirty, Ethiopian food is traditionally eaten with hands. Even nowadays, it is a common thing to do when you are out at restaurants too.

Ethiopian food culture is all about sharing love. Feeding your loved ones with your hand is called Gursha, the bigger the gursha, the stronger the love.

What are the popular dishes in Ethiopian food?

Here are some of the most popular and common dishes prepared in Ethiopian food culture.


Injera is the main staple food in the Ethiopian culture which is made from the teff grain which is indigenous to Ethiopia. 

Injera is a spongy flatbread or pancake-like dish which tastes a little tangy, bitter, and sour. It may taste a bit different at first but the flavours kind of grow into you.

Injera is used as a base and is topped with different stews, curries, meat, and spice blends to go with it.


Wat or wot is an Ethiopian curry and is a popular accompaniment that is served with Injera. There are different types of Wat/wots depending on the main protein used. Daron What is the national dish of Ethiopia which is a chicken curry.

Beg Wat (Sheep curry), Bere Wat (Beef curry), and Misr Wat (Red lentil curry) are some of the variations of Wat.


Tibs is a sauteed meat dish served on a hot plate. It is the centre dish on the communal table setting which is served with Injera, spice blends, braised cabbage, and onions.

Fir Fir

Fir Fir is a shredded Injera that is eaten for breakfast. It is mixed with spiced clarified butter and a spice powder called Berbere powder. The spicy and tangy breakfast is the way of starting the day in Ethiopia.


Shiro is a vegan, vegetarian-friendly stew dish mainly prepared from powdered chickpeas, broad beans, or lentils. It can be prepared with meat too and is called ‘Bozena shiro’.


Kitfo is like tartar which is raw minced beef meat marinated in ‘mitmita’ which is a chilli powder spice blend and ‘niter kibbeh’ which is a clarified butter mixed with herbs and spices.

It is generally served warm but can be ordered to be fully cooked if you are not a fan of eating raw meat. 

What are the foods to avoid during pregnancy?

There are certain food items to be avoided during pregnancy to avoid any health issues to the mother and the baby. Here we are the list of foods to avoid during pregnancy.

Fish with high mercury content

Raw, undercooked, and, smoked fish

Raw, undercooked, and, processed meat


Unwashed raw vegetables and fruits

Raw eggs




In this brief guide, we answered the query, “can you eat Ethiopian food when pregnant?”. We also discussed Ethiopian food and foods to avoid during pregnancy.

I hope you find this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.