Berbere spice mix is an aromatic blend of Ethiopian spices with warm flavors. For the best quality, make this seasoning recipe at home.
Origin of Berbere Spice Mix
Berbere (pronounced bare-bur-AY ) is an Ethiopian seasoning that is used to make many different dishes.
The blend is aromatic, with what some describe as a combination of spicy, sweet, and citrus flavors. While the flavors are warm, this addictive spicy heat is one of my personal favorites.
The subtle citrus notes brighten up and balance out the earthiness. Think cinnamon, allspice, fenugreek and chiles!
A mix of sweet and savory spices means this blend can be used on so many dishes. Toss it with vegetables before roasting, use it as a dry rub on pork or poultry before grilling, or stir it into yogurt, sprinkle it on popcorn and serve with fruit. It’s so versatile.
What is berbere made of?
Some people prefer to use whole spices, which they grind themselves. Although the flavors of ground spices are not as vibrant, there is a convenience factor in using them.
Whether you choose to use whole or ground spices is up to you. Either way, this is what you will need:
- allspice– Although often mistaken for a blend of spices, allspice is actually just one spice, with flavors of clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
- black pepper
- cardamom– If you have trouble finding whole cardamom pods in your local spice shop, you can purchase them easily online.
- cayenne pepper
- fenugreek– Fenugreek seeds are a staple spice used in Indian cooking. The flavor of fenugreek is sweet and nutty, similar to a combination of maple syrup and burnt sugar.
- garlic powder
Uses for Berbere Spice Mix
A multipurpose blend like this spice mix is useful for making many different savory dishes. Of course, the most popular use is as a seasoning for the poultry in a recipe for Berbere Chicken.
In addition to roasted chicken, the spices are also fantastic with grilled meats like steak or ribs. You can use them as a dry rub, or blend with olive oil to make a delicious marinade.
They also boost the flavor of simple sauces like bechamel, and their smoky flavor would be a fantastic addition to a creamy cheese sauce for homemade mac and cheese!
HOW TO STORE HOMEMADE SPICE BLENDS
Like any seasoning you buy from a store, homemade blends will store well for up to 6 months. Just be sure to keep them in an airtight container or specialty spice jars.
Also, to prevent ground spices from clumping, keep them in a dark, dry location.
Berbere Spice Mix
If Using All Ground Spices
- If using all ground spices, whisk together to combine.
- If using whole spices along with ground, powdered:
- In a small skillet dry toast over medium heat the fenugreek, coriander, cumin seeds with the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, peppercorns, allspice and cloves for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
- Let toasted spices cool and transfer to spice grinder along with remaining ground spices (cayenne, paprika, garlic, ginger and turmeric powders). Grind until a fine powder.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.