Authentic Ethiopian cuisine comes alive with a couple pinches of Berbere Spice
Generations of Ethiopians fleeing war and conflict have set up restaurants the world over and the unique Ethiopian cuisine has won many fans over in the past two decades. Gluten-free spongy injera bread topped with heaps of delicious “wots” or sauces, mostly vegetarian, are found in no other cuisine. It’s healthy, as you can imagine, and full of rich flavor. When the Ethiopian Jews arrived to Israel in the late 1980s and early 1990s, their cuisine came with them and found the Jewish State a welcoming place for new foods and flavors.
Chief among Ethiopian spices, Berbere Spice can be made extra spicy (that’s extra spicy to the average eater, regular to Ethiopians!) however in this recipe we opt for a milder version. If you desire a spicier and more authentic version, just increase the amount of cayenne or chili peppers in the recipe. As previously mentioned, Berbere spice can be rubbed on meat or veggies to give it a delicious flavor in baking, or added to a soup or sauce. Try our Doro Wat Recipe for a starting point when cooking with the spice.
Berbere Spice Blend Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Ready in: 45 minutes
- 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper (or 2-3 tablespoons chopped and ground dried hot pepper)
- 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek (if seeds then ground)
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon salt
*Double recipe for large dishes or to store up to 3 months in a cool place
- If using fresh ingredients, blend them in a spice grinder
- Whisk all of your ingredients gently and thoroughly mix in a bowl.
- Store in an airtight container and let sit for 15 minutes minimum so all the flavors can fit together.
Berbere Spice should be kept in a cool, dry space. It keeps longer in the fridge.
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This classic Ethiopian recipe comes with a twist. Alicha Wot with Chicken is a hearty yet light meal that can satisfy a whole family.
Try this Doro Wat Spicy Chicken Recipe for a Taste of Real Ethiopia.
The Traditional Ethiopian Alicha Wot is an African vegan delight. Eaten alone or with injera, couscous or rice, this veggie-filled dish does the trick.
Berbere Spice is a cornerstone flavor of Ethiopian cuisine. Israelis especially love its hot flavor and versatility in usage for all kinds of dishes.