How to make Ethiopian Berbere Spice Blend with common spices you may already have in your pantry. Filled with complex toasty flavor. Easy to make in about 15 minutes!
Berbere spice blend is central to Ethiopian cooking. It is known to be fiery hot and full of complex flavor. Perfect for adding a rich spark to veggies, meats, grains, and legumes. Use as a rub for roasted vegetables, seafood and meat, add a little to enhance soups and stews, and maybe even experiment on some traditional Ethiopian dishes! Making your own blend keeps the flavors fresh and vibrant allowing you to customize the heat to your liking.
What Spices are in Berbere?
- sweet paprika
- whole red chili peppers or pepper flakes
Some traditional blends also include nigella, korarima, ajiwan, long pepper, rue. There are as many variations of blends of berbere as there are households.
For the sake of ease and accessibility, we are keeping it to more common spices without sacrificing flavor.
Using whole spices gives a fresher more intense flavor profile. Whole spices do not age as quickly as ground.
That said, Yes! You can totally make the spice blend with ground spices!
Toast the whole spices for a few minutes in a dry skillet and then add ground spices heating just two minutes more to enliven flavor.
In just minutes you’ll have a delicious berbere spice blend! We are loving this on roasted veggies, chicken, also delicious sprinkled on hummus! Gives a savory kick to salad dressings and sauces, making even the simplest of dishes rich and full of depth.
Give it a try and let us know what you create!
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How to make Ethiopian Berbere Spice Blend with common spices you may already have in your pantry. Filled with complex bright spicy flavor. Easy to make in about 15 minutes!
- 3 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 4–6 whole dried red chilies or 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (more for extra spicy)
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds (or powder)
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds (or powder)
- 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds (cardamom powder)
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (or powder)
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns (or freshly ground black pepper)
- 4 whole cloves (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves)
- 5 whole allspice (or 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a dry skillet, toast whole spices 3-5 minutes over medium heat until fragrant, stirring all the while so as not to scorch.
- Add ground spices and toast 2 minutes more.
- If using whole spices, grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle until finely ground.
- Store in a sealed container.
Berbere will keep up to 6 months.
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