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Ethiopian Spice Recipes

Posted Sep 03 2012 4:39pm
So...as I'm sure regular readers of this blog know, The Boyfriend and I are kind of obsessed with going out to eat and then re-creating our favorite dishes at home .  Our Fasika adventure inspired us to create our own Ethiopian feast and I am going to share the recipes we created.

We were given some spice mix or Berbere at Fasika because we both like our food HOT.. and we had a great time trying to discern what was in it.  When we got home, I wrote down the ingredients we came up with and then a couple weeks later, wrote down the actual recipe.  It's always great fun for me to see if my recipes actually match the flavors I think they will in my head and I'm thrilled to say that this spice mixture was EXACTLY what I expected! I know that there are a lot of spices here.  We hit up a local Indian grocery store for the majority of the spices.  I LOVE the variety of foods available in the Boston area.. wow.  If you don't have access to various ethnic markets, you can buy many spices online .  Whatever you do, don't rely on your local grocery store for the spices or you will end up spending a fortune!  Health food stores are another great place to buy bulk spices for a good price.  Just a note:  I use asafoetida  (also known as HING).  This is a very pungent herb and necessary for the correct flavor.  It is worth seeking out!  Because of the intense smell, I store mine in a plastic bag, inside of a glass jar and then encased in another plastic bag. Or just put it in your basement if you have one! 


  • 2 tablespoons ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric
  • 1-2 tablespoons hot chili powder (Indian style, cayenne is an OK substitute)
  • 1 tablespoon salt, ground fennel seed, ground fenugreek, black pepper, brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons asafoetida, ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon amchoor, allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
I used this mixture in all of the food I made for our feast... as a base.  If you are sensitive to heat, you can lessen the amount of chili powder.  We used 1.5 tablespoons of extra hot Indian Chili powder. 
I would have used 4 tablespoons had I only been cooking for myself.. BUT.. we had friends over and I didn't want to hurt them.  I have an uncanny ability to enjoy VERY hot food.  10 years ago, I was at a bar in NH and won a chili eating contest against a group of marines.  I can handle more heat than anyone I know. 

..but I digress... back to the not so spicy awesome Ethiopian Spice Mixes!!  The Boyfriend found a recipe online he wanted to try.  He made a chicken dish, Doro Wat.  I am DEFINITELY going to play around with a vegan version..  I think tempeh would be a great protein for this dish.  Or seitan if you are into it. I am NOT into seitan




1 teaspoon fenugreek
1/2 cup ground chili
1/2 cup hot paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon clove
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice

Mix this all together and seal in a bag. Makes about 2 cups.

As you can see, the recipe are very similar.. but the flavors are quite different.  I used some of this seasoning in one of my dishes...   so yummy! 

Here's a sneak peak of our feast!  (sans the chicken dish) ...  recipes will be coming up this week .. including the 100% Teff Injera. 



sorry for the FONT issues.  Blogger.. you are making The Kitty MAD today!





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