Spice Paste (Berbere)

"Ethiopia Beef Stewed in Red Pepper Paste recipe calls for this blend of spice paste."
photo by Crafty Lady 13 photo by Crafty Lady 13
photo by Crafty Lady 13
photo by Mamas Kitchen Hope photo by Mamas Kitchen Hope
photo by Mamas Kitchen Hope photo by Mamas Kitchen Hope
photo by sassafrasnanc photo by sassafrasnanc
photo by sassafrasnanc photo by sassafrasnanc
Ready In:
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.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Crafty Lady 13
    I halved this recipe. I loved the way the spices smelled as they were being toasted. I followed the recipe as written, except that I didn't have fenugreek. The end result was a nice paste mixture with a kick. A lot of great flavors going on in this wonderful recipe. I will be using this often to add flavors to my soups and sauces. Made for ZWT4.
  2. sassafrasnanc
    I could almost write word for word what mama's kitchen wrote!! Ha! I too made 1/4 the recipe. Good thing I have an expansive spice collection! I made this for Recipe #173374 while visiting Africa with my Babes on the ZWT4.
  3. Mamas Kitchen Hope
    Smells divine! Made a 1/4 portion for *ZWT* and now I want more! We are having fun learning all about the cuisine of Africa! Thought I did not like this type of food but I am finding lots of things that are just delicious! I sub'd whole spices here for the coriander and nutmeg as that is what I had. Thanks Charlotte!
  4. Chef floWer
    I cut recipe to a small amount for Recipe #211007 and it was a yummy addition to the pizza. Thank you Charlotte J - *Made for Zaar World Tour 4*



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