Spice Paste (Berbere)

Recipe by Charlotte J
READY IN: 40mins
YIELD: 1 batch




  • In a cast-iron skillet, toast the ginger, cardamom, coriander, fenugreek, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice over low heat.
  • Do not burn, this should only take a minute or so.
  • Set aside to cool.
  • Combine the spices, onions, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the salt, and 3 tablespoons water in a small jar of a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Combine the paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and the remaining tablespoon of salt in the skillet and toast over low heat for a minute or so.
  • Stir in the water, 1/4 cup at a time.
  • Then stir in the blended mixture.
  • Stirring vigorously, cook over the lowest possible heat for 10-15 minutes.
  • Transfer the berbere to a jar, packing it in tightly.
  • Let the paste cook to room temperature, then cover with a film of oil.
  • Store in the refrigerator between use.