Berbere Recipe - A Potent Mix of Traditional
Spices For Delicious Ethiopian Flavours

Berbere is a potent, complex blend used in traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean cooking for meaty stews, soups, stocks and works great when added to lentil and bean dishes. In African cooking it's often used much like we use rubs; as a coating for meat before grilling or frying. (See the bottom of the page for other recipes)

What You'll Need: (makes about 7-8 tablespoons)

3 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp paprika powder
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp green cardamom pods
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ajwain seeds
1 tsp allspice berries
1 whole nutmeg
3 inch piece cassia cinnamon
6-8 cloves

tbsp = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon


  • Grate 1 tsp of nutmeg. Set aside
  • Break up the cinnamon stick to fit in your grinder
  • In your grinder, grind the cinnamon pieces along with the cardamom pods, allspice berries, cloves, peppercorns and ajwain, fenugreek, cumin and coriander seeds
  • Once ground, sieve into a bowl
  • Finally, add the grated nutmeg and paprika, ginger, chili and garlic powders to the bowl. Combine thoroughly

Store in a cool place in an airtight jar out of direct sunlight. Use within 3 months before making a fresh amount.

Note: To extract even more flavour from this blend, try dry toasting the whole ingredients before letting cool and grinding. Click here for step-by-step info on toasting and grinding. (Link opens in new window)

Note: I recommend using as many whole ingredients as you can for this blend. However, if you don't have some or all of them available, just use pre-ground powder but halve the amounts the recipe calls for. So, if it says 3 tablespoons of coriander seeds you would use 4 teaspoons of pre-ground coriander. Reduce any others you don't have whole by half as well and stir in with any other powders when making.

BerbereHomemade African Berbere

Here's a video of how I made a version of the above recipe. The ingredients may be slightly different but the process is the same. If you enjoyed it, you can click the subscribe button in the bottom right corner in the video, or the link below the video...

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After Making Your Berbere You May Enjoy Trying These...

Moroccan Ras el
Hanout - The Very
Complex North
African  Blend

Montreal Steak
Spice - The Classic
North American

Masala Collection - 
For Tasty, Authentic
Indian Cooking

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