Ethiopian cooking is marked by hot spices, thick stews and injera, a large, flat sourdough bread. Diners in Ethiopia use the injera as an eating utensil to scoop up food.
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
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 minced garlic
2 tablespoons salt
2 cup paprika
2 tablespoons ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1-1/2 cup water
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.
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This page modified January 2007
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