Kategna Recipe (Ethiopian Tradition Snack)

Kategna is a traditional Ethiopian snack made from Injera (a spongy, fermented flatbread that’s a staple in Ethiopian food) topped with Berbere and Niter Kibbeh, giving it the perfect blend of sweet, sour and spicy flavors. Despite the recipe’s simplicity, the freshness of the Injera and the precise balancing of these ingredients are what really make it magical.

Enjoyed by countless Ethiopians for generations, Kategna is a great way to enjoy the flavors of Ethiopia and its rich culture in a single dish. From its humble beginnings in traditional Ethiopian cuisine, it has now become a worldwide favorite, enjoyed both at home and in restaurants.

Kategna is so popular that there is a Restaurant franchise in Addis Ababa, known for serving a wide variety of traditional Ethiopian dishes. Their menu likely includes Kategna (the dish, of course!), as well as other Ethiopian staples like Doro Wot (spicy chicken stew) and Shiro Wot (chickpea flour stew), among others.

Kategna is best served warm and fresh straight off the Mitad, a traditional Ethiopian griddle.

Why You’ll Love Kategna

Amazing Taste:

  • Flavorful: The combination of Injera, Berbere, and Niter Kibbeh creates a delightful mix of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors.
  • Textural Contrast: The spongy Injera contrasts with the slightly crispy bits from the Niter Kibbeh, offering an interesting textural experience.
  • Customization: Variations with different Injera types as well as inclusion of other ingredients, such as vegetables like onions or tomatoes, can add more flavor and textural dimensions.

Delightfully Healthy:

  • Moderate Option: Kategna can be a moderately healthy breakfast or snack, depending on the ingredients and portion size.
  • Injera: Injera made from teff is a good source of fiber and prebiotics, which can benefit gut health.
  • Spice and Butter: Berbere can have antioxidants, while Niter Kibbeh adds some fat. Moderation is key with the butter, as it’s high in calories.

Overall, Kategna can be a tasty and somewhat healthy breakfast or snack. If you’re watching your calorie intake, be mindful of the Niter Kibbeh content.

What You’ll Need to Make Kategna 

  • Injera: Ethiopian spongy, fermented flatbread
  • Berbere: Ethiopian traditional powdered spice mix
  • Niter Kibbeh: Ethiopian clarified butter


Like most Ethiopian dishes, there are variations of Kategna. While the base of Injera with Berbere and Niter Kibbeh remains constant, variations can occur in the following ways:

  • Spiciness: The amount of Berbere can be adjusted to taste. Some prefer a milder Kategna, while others enjoy it spicier.
  • Additional Ingredients: Some recipes might incorporate chopped vegetables like onions or tomatoes into the Kategna mix for added texture and flavor.
  • Injera Variations: While Injera is the standard bread for Kategna, some variations might use teff flour pancakes or another type of flatbread.
  • Regional Variations: Kategna might have slightly different preparations depending on the region of Ethiopia. For instance, some areas might use variations in the spice blend or incorporate local ingredients.

How to Make Kategna (Step-by-Step Tutorial)

  1. Start by slicing the injera into pieces – just like you would a pizza.
  2. Add the pieces onto a pan or skillet and heat them until they get a bit crispy. Turn them over to heat on both sides. When they’re ready, remove them from heat and transfer them onto a large-enough plate.
  3. Next, place the Niter Kibbeh into your microwave and melt it, and mix it with the berbere. Mix them well.
  4. Finally, spread the spicy mix on top of each piece of injera using your fingers or a pastry brush.

Storage Guide

Injera, the flatbread base of Kategna, can get dry and crumbly if stored improperly. Depending on how and under which condition you acquired your Kategna.

Fresh Kategna

Ideally fresh Kategna, whether it’s homemade or store-bought, is eaten right away. Leftovers can be stored, but the quality will degrade. Here are some tips:

  • Wrap leftover Kategna tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container.
  • Store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • Reheat Kategna gently in a pan or microwave until warmed through. Be aware the Injera might become a bit stiffer.

Commercially prepared Kategna

Some stores might sell pre-made Kategna with a longer shelf life. Check the packaging for specific storage instructions. It might be shelf-stable or require refrigeration.

Overall, Kategna is best enjoyed fresh. If you do need to store leftovers, aim to consume them within a couple of days for the best texture and flavor.

Other Ethiopian Snacks You Must Try

Kategna Recipe

Kategna Recipe

Recipe by Ethiopian Roots HQ
Course: Appetizers, Lunch, Dinner, SnacksCuisine: EthiopianDifficulty: Easy

If you have some extra injera on hand, use it to make this tasty treat. Learn how to make Kategna by using this simple recipe which is very beginner-friendly.

Cook Mode

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  • 1 injera

  • ¾ tbsp berbere

  • 2 tbsp niter kibbeh (Ethiopian clarified butter)


  • Start by slicing the injera into pieces – just like you would a pizza.
  • Add the pieces onto a pan or skillet and heat them until they get a bit crispy. Turn them over to heat on both sides. When they’re ready, remove them from heat and transfer them onto a large-enough plate.
  • Next, place the Niter Kibbeh into your microwave and melt it, and mix it with the berbere. Mix them well.
  • Finally, spread the spicy mix on top of each piece of injera using your fingers or a pastry brush.


  • This dish is excellent before a meal with an apéritif of tej, or you can just enjoy it as a snack any time.

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Ethiopian Roots HQ

Ethiopian Roots HQ

Ethiopian Roots is an online platform dedicated to promoting Ethiopia and exploring the rich tapestry of Ethiopian culture and factors that play a signifacnt role in affecting the day-to-day lives of Ethiopians in and outside of Ethiopia.

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