Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 20 mins

Another great bread from Ethiopia. This is a spicy, crunchy snack. In Ethiopia, dabo means bread, and kolo is the word for roasted barley, which is eaten as a snack (like popcorn). Together, to name a snack made like bread, the words are similar in meaning to "popcorn bread". I just guessed at the number of servings... depends on how you make it. Thanks to ncmysteryshopper for her inquisitive mind. Here is clarification of berbere. 'Berberé is a blend of hot cayenne pepper, sweet paprika, over a dozen other spices and herbs. Its unique taste and aroma makes food flavourful with cultural dimensions to everyday meal. This exotic spice blend has been foreign to most western palates until now.'

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. In a clean mixing bowl, combine and mix dry ingredients (flour, berberé, sugar, and salt).
  3. Slowly add the water and mix so as to form a thick paste. Remove the mixture from the bowl and knead it on a lightly-floured surface for a few minutes to form a thick dough. Add the softened butter and knead for an additional five minutes. Let the dough rest in a cool place for ten minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into handful-size pieces and roll these into long "pencils" not quite as thick as your small finger. Cut these rolls into pieces (scissors can be used), each piece no longer than the width of your finger.
  5. Heat an ungreased skillet over a medium heat. Place enough of the uncooked dabo kolo in the skillet to loosely cover the bottom. (They may have to be cooked in batches.) Cook over medium heat, stirring periodically, until they are lightly browned on all sides, -- OR -- Arrange on a baking sheet. Bake in a hot oven for twenty to thirty minutes, stirring or shaking the pan a few times to prevent sticking.
  6. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Store in dry air-tight containers.
  7. **A more traditional way of making Dabo Kolo is to mix the flour and warm water to form dough then cook the dough on a skillet or griddle, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it forms itself into balls, then continuing to cook them until they are browned. While still hot they are seasoned with spices and butter, then after being allowed to cool they are stored.
  8. **"Americanized" dabo kolo can be made by substituting ground cayenne pepper or red pepper for the berberé spice mix, though this would not suffice in Ethiopia. Vegetable oil can be used in place of the butter.


Most Helpful

sooo delicious! a friend is going to ethiopia for a year, so i wanted to make him something for his going-away party...i had to look up a recipe for berbere, but i'm so glad i did--i made the first batch with just cayenne pepper, but the second batch (with berbere) was amazing! thanks for posting this recipe!

jensmith3 August 07, 2009

Great crunchy snack food with A LOT of heat!!! My homemade berbere is truely hot, so I had to drink a lot, too, but you know it is healthy to drink much (non-alcoholic that is ;) ). That is what my teenage neighbour said," It is good... but HOT!!!... but good AND hot, WOW!". :) - I made half the recipe in a skillet on the stove. Enough dough to fill the whole skillet, when I'll do it next time for the whole batch I'll try the oven method not to have double the cooking time. - Dough was easy to make, though I needed slightly more water to make it hold together. One small problem: I had to snip the dough with scissors directly into the skillet after my first try of putting them on a flour-dusted plate and from there in the skillet ended with a lot of large dough lumps in the pan that proved impossible to separate. No problem thereafter. Cooking time was 25 minutes with me, so it did not matter that some Dabo Kolo were a little earlier in the skillet than others.

Inge 1505 October 19, 2005

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