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6 Easy Ethiopian Recipes to Make With One Simple Spice Blend

Berbere is the most flavorful, aromatic spice blend you've never tried. And that's a shame because it is so incredibly versatile. If you have 5 minutes to spare and a love of spicy foods, whisk up your own batch of Berbere Spice Blend.

Berbere Spice Blend

Berbere Spice Blend | Photo by Chef John

Berbere (pronounced something like "bayah-bayah") is an Ethiopian spice blend made with chile powders, fenugreek, paprika, ginger, coriander, and other ground spices. It's the key to so many flavorful Ethiopian dishes.

It's delicious for simply seasoning chicken, pork, lamb, tofu, or even cauliflower steaks, and it also adds crazy depth to lentil stews and spicy red sauces. Basically, you'll love this versatile spice blend in any recipe that calls for chile powder, paprika, curry powder, or Cajun spices.

Now let's watch Chef John make his Berbere Spice Blend and then create a super-fast, super-flavorful chicken dish with a sensational coconut-milk curry sauce:

Berbere Spiced Chicken Breasts | Ready in 20 Minutes

For the spice blend, Chef John is using three kinds of chile powder, including ground New Mexico chile, a medium-spicy pepper with a sweet, earthy flavor. Ancho or California chiles would also work. "Authentic berbere spice would use whole spice seeds/pods, toasted, and ground," says Chef John. "But I usually toast the spices during the cooking process."

5 More Flavorful Ethiopian Recipes:

Doro Wat: Ethiopian Chicken Dish

Cubes of chicken are seasoned with berbere and simmered in a tomato paste, water, and wine sauce. "Typically served with injera and some side vegetable dish. I prefer Atkilt, a cabbage and potato dish, but there are many delicious options." -- Twin Cities

Ethiopian Cabbage and Potato Dish (Atkilt)

"This is my favorite Ethiopian vegetable dish. I created it by mixing together a few different recipes I found. Hope you like it! Serve as a side dish with injera and other Ethiopian dishes. I recommend Doro Wat - an Ethiopian chicken dish." -- Twin Cities

Injera (Ethiopian Flat Bread)

"This is the staple bread of Ethiopia. It is traditionally made with teff, a very finely milled millet flour. Regular millet flour from a health food store will work fine. Use this bread to sop up the flavors of spicy stews." -- MyPlate

Kik Wat (Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew)

A quick and easy Ethiopian red lentil stew, seasoned with berbere, served with rice.

Gomen Wat (Ethiopian Vegetables)

A fragrant take on a traditional Ethiopian vegetarian dish, collard greens are well-seasoned with turmeric, paprika, allspice, and ginger.

Doro Wat

Doro Wat | Photo by Buckwheat Queen


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Carl Hanson

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