Makes 1 cup Ingredients 4 teaspoons coriander seeds 2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds 1 teaspoons black peppercorns 1⁄2 teaspoon whole allspice 12 green cardamom pods 8 whole cloves 2 large dried pasilla chilies, toasted with seeds. Many recipes call for chili de arbol, but I don’t like heat as much as I like the dark/ fruity chili flavors of pasilla, you can always add heat. 6 tbsp. paprika 1 whole ground nutmeg 2 tsp. dried ginger root 1 cinnamon stick
How It's Done 1. Combine all spices except paprika. Break up the cinnamon stick and nutmeg with a mortar and pestle before toasting. Toast spices over medium heat on a heavy griddle, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Let Cool
2. Break chilies into small pieces, discard stems and inner parts, keeping seeds. Toast until fragrant over medium heat, about 4 minutes in a well ventilated space. I put a bandana over my nose and mouth, it’s intense but oh so good. Grind chilies including seeds until fine and sift through a fine mesh strainer. Save what won’t go through for stock.
3. Grind all toasted spices in a spice grinder until fine and sift. Don’t throw away the siftings, they make great stock. The spice siftings make a nice chai masala to drink while you’re working.
4. In a work bowl add paprika, ground chilies, and spices together. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Note I don’t add salt, or dried onions to my berbere, I don’t like to calculate for added salt in a mix when I cook. I don’t add the dried onions because I use so many onions, and garlic fresh in the food.
They're using pancakes as spoons! Lisa, Simpsons episode the Foodwife
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Pronounced bar-ee bar-ee
Berbere is an essential spice blend used in Ethiopian cuisine. It’s a complex blend that dances on the palate: the bitter edge of fenugreek, sweet cinnamon, and cardamom, unexpected in a savory blend; depths of cloves, allspice and chilies; with lighter sparks of paprika and the quick heat of black pepper, nutmeg, and ginger. Traditionally it’s made very hot, berbere means hot in Amharic. This blend tempers the heat for my own tastes letting all the flavors be heard. Ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi, Carum ajowan), is also traditionally added to berbere, but hard to find fresh enough worth having; I think it tastes like winter savory with a hit of menthol. Make up a jar of berbere the day before you plan to cook Ethiopian dishes, it’ll cut down on your stress level and it’s a sensuous experience all on its own. If you’ve never started with whole spices and ground them yourself, I guarantee you will never willingly go back to store bought pre-ground spices, there's no comparison--it’s the real deal. I use berbere in Ethiopian Misr Wot (Lentil Stew), Doro Wat (Chicken Stew)...but also find that I use it in black eyed pea stews, with kidney beans, chickpeas, beef and I love it on Popcorn! Melkam megeb!
1. Utensils are optional Ethiopians eat exclusively with their right hands, using pieces of injera to pick up bites of entrées and side dishes. 2. Two vegan fast days a week- that's a brilliant prebiotic plan. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church prescribes a number of fasting (tsom, Ge'ez: ጾም ṣōm) periods, including Wednesdays, Fridays, and the entire Lenten season, so Ethiopian cuisine contains many dishes that are vegan. 3. Wats --spicy legume/ vegetable or meat stews. These taste amazing and are a brilliant way to eat more beans. 4. Tibs- as a portion of grilled meat are prepared to commemorate special events and holidays. Eating meat as a special condiment to compliment the other dishes instead of being the main deal -- brilliant. 5. Kitfo--raw (or rare) beef mince marinated in mitmita (Ge'ez: ሚጥሚጣ mīṭmīṭā a very spicy chili powder similar to the berbere) and niter kibbeh. Gored gored is very similar to kitfo, but uses cubed rather than ground beef. Like good sushi, raw beef is a delicious and full of nutrition that we don't normally get, but I'd want to know the cow.... 6. Coffee ceremony --it is the birthplace of coffee after all. It's Brilliant to create ceremony around coffee instead of just using it as a drug. 7. Atmet is a barley and oat-flour based drink that is cooked with water, sugar and kibe (Ethiopian clarified butter) and is often given to women who are nursing. 8. Gursha (var. gorsha, goorsha) is an act of friendship and love. When eating injera, a person uses his or her right hand to strip off a piece, wraps it around some wat or kitfo, and then puts it into another's mouth during a meal with friends or family. It's a common custom to feed others in the group with one's hand by putting the rolled injera or a spoon full of other dishes into another's mouth. That's love.