One of the things I love about cooking is that it gives us an opportunity to explore different cultures and traditions as well as different tastes. For example, take the berbere spice of the Ethiopian tradition. Families first gather all of the indredients, including allspice, chiles, cardamom, fenugreek, and many other spices- some recipes have over twenty! The chiles are dried in the sun for two days and mixed with the other spices. Since berbere spice is at the heart of much of Ethiopian cooking, it is made in enormous quantities, and each family has their own special blend.
Berbere spice can be purchased in ethnic groceries, or you can make your own using this recipe. It is worth the effort; berbere spice has a very interesting and unique flavor, plus it is fun to make colorful little piles of spices before you blend them all together.
Here is what you need to make the stew
1 Red Onion
2 or 3 cloves of Garlic
1 Tablespoon Ginger
3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
1-2 Tablespoons Berbere (it's spicy!)
4 cups Vegetable Broth
1 cup red lentils
Cilantro for topping
Dice the onion and saute in oil until tender, then throw in the ginger and berbere spice: