Berbere Spice

Written by Eydie Desser

This traditional Ethiopian spice blend is spicy, savory, sweet and bitter. It lights up all the taste buds and is my favorite spice to put on baked potatoes, in soups, on steamed vegetables and grains.  I make it a little less spicy, by putting 1/2 of the cayenne the recipe suggests, but by all means, spice it up as you like.


  • 2 TB cayenne pepper
  • 3 TB paprika
  • ¾ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ground fenugreek
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. ground cardamom
  • ⅛ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp. ground allspice
  • Pinch of ground cloves


Toast all the ingredients in a large dry pan over medium heat until the mixture just begins to smell toasty.  Don’t cook too long or the spices will become bitter. Cool and place spice mixture in a glass jar. Store in a dark, cool place.

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