Berbere is a spice mixture that is the flavoring foundation of Ethiopian cuisine. It is made by combining roughly equal amounts of spices with a much larger amount of hot red (chili) pepper. Fenugreek and very hot red pepper are essential to berbere. The other spices vary according to personal choice. It is made as a dry spice mix, in which case no oil or fresh ingredients are used, or for immediate use with fresh shallots, garlic, and oil.
P^/2 tsp fenugreek powder 2 TBS mixed cayenne pepper and dried red chili pepper powder /s tsp allspice powder /4 tsp black pepper, crushed /2 tsp cardamom powder
V16 tsp (or two pinches) cinnamon powder V16 tsp (or two pinches) cloves powder /4 tsp coriander powder /4 tsp cumin powder /S tsp turmeric powder
/2 TBS salt 1 TBS shallots, finely minced
/2 tsp ginger, fresh (peeled and 12 tsp garlic, minced grated) 1/2 TBS vegetable oil
Toast the dried spices for a few minutes in a heavy skillet over low heat. Stir continuously to avoid scorching. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Combine with the salt, fresh ginger, shallots, garlic, and oil.
Process in a food processor.
Use immediately or store for several days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator (dry berbere can be stored for longer).
Use in any Ethiopian recipe for meat or vegetables.
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