Berberé is an Ethiopian spice blend used as a flavouring base in Ethiopian cuisine. It is the centrepiece of Ethiopian dishes and is made of a mix of spices such as allspice, cloves, cardamon, fenugreek, ginger, cinnamon, black peppercorns, cumin seeds and birds eye chilli peppers.
4-7 Tablespoons of African Bird's Eye chillies
2 Teaspoons grains of paradise (optional)
2 Teaspoons of ground smoked red paprika (optional)
1 Teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/4 Teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 Teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 Teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1/8 Teaspoon ground cloves or 3-4 whole cloves
1/2 Teaspoon ground coriander seeds (optional)
1/2 Teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 Teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
1/2 Teaspoon black peppercorns
1/4 Teaspoon ground turmeric
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Teaspoon grated ginger or dried ground ginger if making dry berberé
1In a small pan and over medium heat, toast the dried spices for a few minutes (3-5) ensuring to stir or shake the pan continuously to avoid the spices burning.
2Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
3Grind the toasted whole spices in a spice grinder
4Add the ground spices to the freshly ground whole spices
5Store in a tightly-sealed container.
Pan roasting the whole spices releases the spice flavours needed for the authentic berbere