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Berbere Spice Paste

This fiery spice mixture that forms the basis of many Ethiopian and Eritrean recipes. You can use either this paste or the dry spice blend as a rub.

Berbere Spice Paste
This fiery spice mixture that forms the basis of many Ethiopian and Eritrean recipes. You can use either this paste or the dry spice blend as a rub.
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 cups paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ground cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups water
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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, ¼ cup at a time. Then stir in the blended mixture. Stirring vigorously, cook over the lowest possible heat for 10-15 minutes.
  4. 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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