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RECIPE: Berbere – the heart of Ethiopian cooking

If you’ve tried Ethiopian food, you will understand it’s the unique spice blends that give it such memorable flavours.

At the heart of many dishes is berbere – pronounced burr-burr-ee – a spicy blend of a large variety of herbs and spices, listed below.

It can be quite hard to find in local supermarkets here, so we’ve kindly served up our own simple-to-make take on the blend for you to use in your next African feast.

Experiment with the ratios – especially the chili – to suit your own taste.

Makes about 1 cup.

Preparation: 15 minutes  

Berbere will keep in an airtight container, chilled, for up to three months.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek
  • 1/2 cup ground dried chiles
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Procedure

  • 1. Finely grind fenugreek seeds in an electric coffee/spice grinder.
  • 2. Stir together with remaining ingredients until combined well.


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