Ethiopian Berbere Spice Blend

Berbere is a hot spice blend that is an integral ingredient in Ethiopian cuisine. Full of flavor and heat, this spice is not for the faint of heart – or taste buds.  Every Ethiopian cook has their own version of this blend, many of which include spices not found outside the country.  With each version, there are several key spices that are common to all and the result is a fiery, bright red, highly aromatic and flavorful seasoning blend that will add life to whatever it’s used in.  

Ethiopian Berbere Spice Blend

Ethiopian Berbere Spice Blend

Berbere is a wonderful all-purpose seasoning. It's can be used as a rub for meat, poultry and fish, or as a seasoning for stews, soups, grains and vegetables. Berbere is the key ingredient in one of the most famous of all African dishes:  Ethiopian Doro Wat, the fabulous spicy chicken stew.
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Course: Spice Mix
Cuisine: African, East Africa, Ethiopia
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 cup
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • plastic container with lid
  • heavy skillet
  • Small bowl
  • Spice grinder, coffee grinder, or small food processor


  • 1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 4 tsp Coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp Black peppercorns
  • 2 whole Allspice berries
  • 8 whole Green cardamom pods, seeds only
  • 5 whole Cloves
  • 10 whole Dried red chiles, most insides removed and broken into small pieces
  • 6 tbsp Sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Ground ginger
  • 2 tsp Turmeric


  • In a dry heavy skillet over medium high heat, toast all the seeds and chilies. Keep shaking the pan to keep from scorching. After about 3 minutes, seeds will become fragrant. Immediately pour into a bowl to cool.
  • Grind the cooled spices in a spice or coffee grinder. All remaining ground spices and salt. Grind everything together. Store in a dark place in a container with lid.


Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 4706mg | Potassium: 1443mg | Fiber: 25g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 20791IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 287mg | Iron: 16mg

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