For short, Ethiopians call it Berbere. I may say Berbere is one of the best East African spice blends. Honestly, this Ethiopian recipe spice knocks the socks off any food I put it on. Ethiopian Berbere spice is a flavorful delight that goes with everything. You heard it right, everything.
Tasteful spice blend of East Africa
What I like most about Berbere is, my popcorn won’t be boring anymore. Try this spice blend on any food. For those who eat animal protein, use it on your meat or fish of choice and watch the flavor increase to the next level. I am still experimenting with Berbere on different drinks. Just know, you can literally use Ethiopian Berbere spice blend on every food and drink. For example, my lasagna will never be the same because of the Berbere spice blend.
When flavorful food creates shock
Firstly, this is the first time I ever felt connected to Lasagna. It is true. Lasagna is not indigenous to Africa but I’ve eaten it many times and thought it tasted good. I didn’t expect that adding an African spice blend would create a “jumping for joy” reaction.
Using Ethiopian Berbere spice blend, the flavors peaked consistently with every bite. You’ll taste creaminess, nuttiness, and a smoky flavor, none of which I expected.
Secondly, I believe using an African spice blend like Berbere makes it an Ethiopian lasagna, because these spices greatly impact the flavor outcome. I was shocked mainly because I didn’t expect lasagna to be drastically flavorful. I used this tasty Ethiopian spice in this delightful Eritrean lasagna, yum!
Types of spice and variety matters
Understandably, many spices in this recipe list are expensive. Do not force yourself to acquire these spices all at once, simply to make this recipe. Instead, get spices in pairs such as cumin and coriander, or chili powder and paprika. Use what you have in your pantry and if you don’t have any, pick six spices you know and love and use that. With that said, I do not think you can enjoy the full experience with just a limited number of spices, just speaking honestly.
Related: Evaluating Spices in Benin Food
Moreover, this Ethiopian recipe spice blend can be used with just about anything. Be it tofu, seitan rubs, popcorn, in drinks, or sauces. If you have no idea where to start, try out this simple enticing Ethiopian Yekik Alicha recipe and experience berbere’s rich flavor. Note, you can increase or reduce the hotness as per your taste. Did you know eating spicy food is good for you? It speeds up your metabolism, combats inflammation and does so much more.
The Easiest How-To make Berbere
To put it simply, mix all the spices in a bowl. That’s it.
Now the trick is balancing the spices to achieve a balanced flavor. You can choose the quantity as per your preferences. If you use our recipe, adding all the spices makes a half cup of Berbere. This portion can last you well over a month depending on how frequent you use. Lastly, we recommend to use less of the hot components ( paprika, cayenne, ginger, etc) if you do not want to have spicy food regularly.
We want to hear from you. Have you had other Ethiopian recipes? What is your favorite spice blend? Is it home-made or store bought.
- Cayenne Pepper 1 TBSP
- Paprika 2 TBSP
- Chili Powder 2 TBSP
- Onion Powder 1 tsp
- Cumin 1 tsp
- Coriander 1 tsp
- Cardamom 1 tsp
- Fenugreek (optional) 1 tsp
- half tsp Garlic powder half tsp
- half tsp Nutmeg half tsp
- All Spice half tsp
- Cloves half tsp
- Salt half tsp
- Cinnamon 1/4 tsp
1. Add 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper to a bowl. Use a lower amount if you do not want your spice blend too hot.
2. Add 2 tablespoons of paprika and chili powder. Use a lower amount if you do not want your spice blend too hot.
3. Next, add 1 teaspoon of onion powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cardamom, and ground fenugreek. This is an optional ingredient. It is good for enhancing the taste and fragrance. However, if you haven’t got it, no worries.
4. Moving on, add half a tablespoon of garlic powder, ground nutmeg, ground all-spice, ground cloves, and salt.
5. Take one-fourth teaspoon of ground cinnamon and add to the spice blend.
6. Lastly, mix to all the spices with spoon.
Make sure all the ingredients are properly mixed with each other.
You can take a teaspoon amount of this berbere spice blend, sprinkle on your food and wallow in it.
If you are bored with your foods, this spice blend is sure to uplift the taste. Give your popcorns, bread, lasagna, snacks, sauces, drinks, and much more a new and irresistible flavor.
Warning! It yields maximum punch of deliciousness, so don’t get addicted to it 😉
Enjoy every meal!