How to make an ethiopian berbere spice mix

Written by robin coe
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How to make an ethiopian berbere spice mix
(Photos by Robin Coe)

If you love hot food, then an Ethiopian Berbere spice mix is a must for your next dish. Your homemade spice mix will last a long time because a pinch of this hot spice is all you will need for each dish. Traditionally, the dish is used to spice lentils and beans. You can also use it to spice your chicken dishes. Once you've made your spice, just saut� it with oil in a pan for a few minutes before adding it to your recipe. This will help to bring out the various flavours of the spice mix.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Mortar and pestle
  • 15 red chillies, dried
  • Bowl
  • 2 tbsp cayenne
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 4 cardamom pods, whole
  • 2 tsp cumin, whole
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. fenugreek, whole
  • ½ tsp. garlic, dried
  • ½ tsp. ginger
  • ¼ tsp. allspice, whole
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg, ground
  • ¼ tsp. cloves, whole
  • Spice bottle

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Put the chillies in the mortar, and roll the pestle to crush them finely. Pour the crushed chillies into your mixing bowl.

    How to make an ethiopian berbere spice mix
  2. 2

    Measure out 2 tbsp of cayenne and paprika each, and stir into the chillies. Be careful not to touch the cayenne with your hands.

    How to make an ethiopian berbere spice mix
  3. 3

    Use your mortar and pestle to crush the cardamom pods. Add the crushed cardamom to the spice mixture.

    How to make an ethiopian berbere spice mix
  4. 4

    Crush enough cumin to make 2 tsp, and then mix into the spice mix. Add the black pepper.

    How to make an ethiopian berbere spice mix
  5. 5

    Crush enough fenugreek to make half a teaspoon and enough garlic to make half a teaspoon. Stir each into the Berbere spice mix.

    How to make an ethiopian berbere spice mix
  6. 6

    Add the ginger and nutmeg to the mixing bowl.

    How to make an ethiopian berbere spice mix
  7. 7

    Crush the cloves and allspice to make ¼ teaspoon of each. Sift all the spices together until well mixed. Pour the mixture into your spice bottle to store.

    How to make an ethiopian berbere spice mix

Tips and warnings

  • Cayenne pepper irritates the mucous membranes. Don't get it near your eyes or nose.

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