How to Make Your Own Spice Blends: Berbere

By | June 4, 2012

Photo: Pearl Pirie

Photo: Pearl Pirie

Using different spice blends is a wonderful way to enhance the flavor of meats and vegetables, while also adding a kick to any ordinary dish. Most ethnic spice blends can be fairly simple to make so we’ve created a mini-series to show you step by step how to create your own. Check out our first spice blend below.

Berbere, whose name means hot in Amharic, is a chili-spice blend that’s essential to many Ethiopian dishes, including Doro Wat. It is by far the most popular spice used in Ethiopia. Berbere is used to season everything from vegetables to meats and stews. Some of Red Rooster’s favorite dishes, like the Fried Yard Bird, include Berbere for that added heat that our patrons love so much.

Although the base of Berbere is red chili and garlic, it is not particularly spicy like cayenne so a good amount can be used to enhance the strength and flavor of a dish. You can use Berbere for traditional Ethiopian dishes, or as a seasoning for all meats and vegetables. Add some to your fried or roast chicken or as a shake for grilled vegetables. Want the recipe? Click here to find out how to make Berbere at home. Read More


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