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berbere ethiopian red pepper and spice paste


this is a new discovery for me but i was quickly converted when this paste helped me make a wonderfully rich tomato sauce, full of deep flavours. berbere spice paste has many variations. this is a mild form but you can certainly exchange some of the paprika for more cayenne pepper to make it hot and spicy. when you come to use it, in a tomato sauce for example, roast it for at least 5 minutes in your frying pan or sauce pot, adding water a few drops at a time to keep it from burning. the roasting helps the flavours develop.


# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #


  1. In a heavy frying pan
  2. Toast the ginger
  3. Cardamom
  4. Coriander
  5. Fenugreek
  6. Nutmeg
  7. Cloves
  8. Cinnamon and allspice over a low heat for a minute or so
  9. Stir constantly until they are heated through and then remove from the pan
  10. Next you need to combine the toasted spices
  11. Onions
  12. Garlic
  13. 1 tbsp of the salt and all of the wine together into a smooth paste
  14. I prefer to do this in a mortar and pestle but if you have a blender that is good with small quantities that may work too
  15. Next mix the paprika
  16. Cayenne pepper
  17. Black pepper and the rest of the salt in the frying pan and toast them over a low heat
  18. Stir in the water 1 / 4 cup at a time and then add the spice and wine mixture
  19. Stir vigorously and cook over the lowest possibly heat
  20. Stirring all the time
  21. For an absolute minimum of 5 minutes and up to 10 or even 15 minutes if you can
  22. Transfer the spice paste to a jar and pack it in tightly
  23. Let the paste cool to room temperature and then cover with enough oil so it makes a film about 1 / 4 inch thick
  24. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use
  25. If you keep it covered with oil
  26. The paste will last in the fridge for 5-6 months

Step 11

Total Time in Minute 30

Ingredients Count 17

cooking berbere    ethiopian red pepper and spice paste

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Ground ginger

Ground cardamom

Ground coriander

Fenugreek seeds

Ground nutmeg

Ground cloves

Ground cinnamon

Ground allspice




Dry red wine


Cayenne pepper

Fresh ground black pepper


Vegetable oil

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