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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Berbere

I kept swinging between Middle Eastern dukkah and the Ethiopian berbere for the final 'condiment' post this week. Finally I inclined more towards the spicy berbere, owing to my Indian origin, I guess. And so for today, it is the fiery hot, flavorful spice blend from the Ethiopian and Eritrean regions, berbere. Berbere pronounced behr-behr-ee is prepared using a mixture of chili peppers and spices and is like an all purpose seasoning mix. This aromatic mixture can be used as a seasoning in stews / braises / soups / vegetables or as a rub for meats. It is the basic ingredient in dabo kolo, (a popular Ethiopian snack) doro wat (Ethipian chicken dish) and other Ethiopian dishes.

Some of the spices used in the preparation are the commonly available kind like cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin and the like while some spices used are grown only locally in the region such as korarima. The combo of fenugreek and red pepper are a must in a berbere recipe. If looking for a milder version, paprika can be substituted for some or most of the red pepper in the recipe. Berbere can be made both as a dry mixture or a wet paste. Being born and raised in a country which happens to be the spice capital of the world, I use spices in my cooking at the drop of a hat. And so naturally I had everything needed for this recipe in my pantry. Instead of using powdered spices in the recipe, I toasted whole spices and ground them for a robust flavored berbere.

(I actually couldn't trace the source link from which I tried this recipe even after scouring the web thoroughly a couple of times.)

Ingredients:
1/4 cup dried red chillies
1 tsp. red chilli flakes
1 tsp. fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
6 cardamom pods
1/2 tsp. cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp. pepper powder
3 tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. all spice powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
Extras if making a wet berbere:
Fresh ginger (Skip ginger powder from the list.)
2 tbsp. finely minced onion
1 garlic clove, finely minced (Skip garlic powder from the list.)
3 to 4 tbsp. water or oil

Method:
* Toast all the spices individually without scorching them and let cool. 
* If making a dry version, grind together the toasted spices and all the powders under the 'ingredients' list finely. Store in an airtight container and use as needed. 
* If making a paste, grind together the toasted spices, spice powders, fresh ginger, onion and garlic with water or oil.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 56


Comments

13 comments:

vaishali sabnani said...

Very interesting spice powder, looks so vibrant and must be so flavorful.

Sapana Behl said...

Very flavorful spice mix.Nice one..

Usha said...

I don't blame you for inclining towards this spicy powder. It looks very Indian with all the spices that went into to. Vibrant and flavorful spice mix,

Srivalli said...

Wow the spice powder looks so fiery!..good one Suma..I enjoyed your series!

Sandhiya said...

What a colorful spice powder.so good.

Srividhya said...

Amazing loved your top angle click

Kalyani said...

Very flavourful ! Good choice of condiments

Priya Suresh said...

You guys are tempting to make this spice mix.. Lovely captures.

Harini-Jaya R said...

Very tempting spice powder.

Pavani N said...

Very flavorful and spicy berbere spice powder.

sneha datar said...

Amazing color of the spice blend.

The Pumpkin Farm said...

looks fresh and flavor packed

Chef Mireille said...

Berbere is a great spice mix - so flavorful