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ethiopian spice mix (berbere)

a recipe by
Dave Mathews

This a chili spice blend that is used widely to spice just about anything. It is not too hot but it does make your tongue stand up and take notice. Try this on everything from lamb to fish, really. This is the Emeril LaGasse mixture of the Middle East

serves 10
prep time 10 Min
method No-Cook or Other

Ingredients For ethiopian spice mix (berbere)

  • 1/2 tsp
  • 1/2 c
    dried hot chilies, your choice but hot is better
  • 1/4 c
    paprika, not smoked
  • 1 Tbsp
    sea salt
  • 1 tsp
    ground ginger
  • 1 tsp
    onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp
    ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp
    ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp
    ground nutmeg (fresh from the nut)
  • 1 tsp
    garlic granulated
  • 1/8 tsp
    ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp
    ground cinnamon (fresh from the stick)
  • 1/8 tsp
    ground allspice

How To Make ethiopian spice mix (berbere)

  • 1
    Yes I said 1/4 cup of paprika, for real! Please do not use that red floor sweepings that is fit only for coloring deviled eggs. Get real Hungarian Sweet Paprika. Don't use smoked paprika here as it will overpower some of the subtle tastes that make this such a good seasoning. If you do not have or can't find granulated garlic then use 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder. It won't kill it. As for the chili peppers use a good dried hot one. Don't use the chinese kind since they have a very different flavor. Try New Mexico Reds. They work good. I have done it with dried anaheime chilis but just not enough kick. If you really want to wus out you can use dried Pablanos. In any case get rid of the seeds and let them fully rehydrate. Fresh peppers do not work here but hey, if you want to give it a shot go for it just let us know what happened.
  • 2
    Start by slightly dry toasting the fenugreek seeds. Don't try to cook them they will burn. Just heat them up to allow the oils to activate. Finely grind fenugreek seeds in an electric coffee/spice grinder. Stir together with remaining ingredients until combined well. That is it. Store in an airtight glass container in a dark cool place for up to 4 months (If it lasts that long)