Recipe by Sackville
This is a new discovery for me but I was quickly converted when this paste helped me make a wonderfully rich tomato sauce, full of deep flavours. Berbere spice paste has many variations. This is a mild form but you can certainly exchange some of the paprika for more cayenne pepper to make it hot and spicy. When you come to use it, in a tomato sauce for example, roast it for at least 5 minutes in your frying pan or sauce pot, adding water a few drops at a time to keep it from burning. The roasting helps the flavours develop.
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 3 tablespoons dry red wine
- 2 cups paprika
- 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
- 1 -2 tablespoon vegetable oil
Directions See How It's Made
- In a heavy frying pan, toast the ginger, cardamom, coriander, fenugreek, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and allspice over a low heat for a minute or so.
- Stir constantly until they are heated through and then remove from the pan.
- Next you need to combine the toasted spices, onions, garlic, 1 tbsp of the salt and all of the wine together into a smooth paste.
- I prefer to do this in a mortar and pestle but if you have a blender that is good with small quantities that may work too.
- Next mix the paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper and the rest of the salt in the frying pan and toast them over a low heat.
- Stir in the water 1/4 cup at a time and then add the spice and wine mixture.
- Stir vigorously and cook over the lowest possibly heat, stirring all the time, for an absolute minimum of 5 minutes and up to 10 or even 15 minutes if you can.
- Transfer the spice paste to a jar and pack it in tightly.
- Let the paste cool to room temperature and then cover with enough oil so it makes a film about 1/4 inch thick.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
- If you keep it covered with oil, the paste will last in the fridge for 5-6 months.