Berbere- Ethiopian Red Pepper Spice Mix

Must Try Recipes

So for this first day in Ethiopia I’m sticking with the basics.  Berbere is one of the most important building blocks of Ethiopian cooking- you’ll find it as an ingredient in many stew recipes and in plenty of other dishes as well.  Berbere’s primary ingredient is red pepper, but ten other spices round out the mix.  When you add some to a dish, you’re adding a lot of complex flavor- not just heat.

Just one final note: recipes for berbere vary widely in terms of heat and spice.  If you have a very delicate palate or are extremely heat averse, you can cut down on the cayenne and increase the amount of paprika.

Berbere- Ethiopian Red Pepper Spice Mix

All spices listed below should be dried and ground. If you can’t find ground spices or prefer to grind the spices yourself, simply use a coffee/spice grinder or a mortar and pestle.


* 1 teaspoon ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
* 1/4 teaspoon allspice
* 1/2 teaspoon coriander
* 1/2 teaspoon cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek
* 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon cloves
* 2 Tablespoons salt
* 1/4 cup paprika
* 1/2 cup cayenne pepper


Combine all the spices and store in a small airtight container.

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