This is from the Congo Cookbook and states: Berbere is an Ethiopian spice mixture that is the flavoring foundation of Ethiopian cuisine, a basic ingredient in Dabo Kolo, Doro Wat, and many other dishes. A milder berbere can be made by substituting paprika for some or most of the red pepper. Berbere is sometimes made as a dry spice mix, and is sometimes made with oil or water to form a paste. Starting with whole spices, the various nuts and seeds and dried red chile peppers, then pan-roasting, grinding, and mixing them will produce the most authentic berbere. However, perfectly satisfactory results can be obtained using already ground or powdered spices. Red wine seems to be a non-Ethiopian addition, but it works well. Yield and prep time is estimated.
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 3⁄4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 4 -6 tablespoons of a combination ground cayenne pepper (red pepper, dried chile peppers, or red pepper flakes) or 4 -6 tablespoons paprika (red pepper, dried chile peppers, or red pepper flakes)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
- 2 tablespoons onions (optional) or 2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped, omit if making dry berbere (optional)
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced, use dried garlic if making dry berbere (optional)
- 1⁄4 cup oil or 1⁄4 cup water (omit if making dry berbere) or 1⁄4 cup red wine (omit if making dry berbere)
- In a heavy skillet over medium heat, toast the dried spices for a few minutes - stirring or shaking the skillet continuously to avoid scorching.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- If making dry berbere powder: grind the mixture in a spice grinder or blender, or use a mortar and pestle.
- Store the berbere powder in a tightly-sealed container.
- If making a berbere paste: combine the toasted spices with the fresh ginger, onions or shallots, garlic, and oil (water, or wine).
- Grind together in a blender or with a mortar and pestle.
- Store the berbere paste in a tightly-sealed container.