Saturday, January 12, 2008

Niter Kebbeh and Berbere

We had some friends over tonight and served up an Ethiopian feast. The house smelled great with the stews simmering away all afternoon. The following two recipes are the basis for most Ethiopian dishes. Niter Kebbeh is a spiced margarine that gives off a wonderful aroma when you saute onions in it. Berbere is a roasted spice mixture that is incredibly potent. I use it pretty sparingly since the kids can't handle too much heat. If you can handle it, by all means pile it on, but don't say I did not warn you.

Niter Kebbeh
- 1 lb margarine
- 1 small onion, small dice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp minced ginger
- 1/2 tsp tumeric
- 4 green cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg

1. Melt margarine over medium heat. Add all other ingredients, and simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Strain through a fine sieve and refrigerate.

- 1/2 cup cayenne
- 1/3 cup paprika
- 1 tsp each salt, poultry seasoning, ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp each garlic powder, ground fenugreek, ground cardamom, nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp each ground cloves, allspice

Preheat oven to 300 degrees
1. Mix spices in a cake pan. Roast in an oven for 15 mins, stirring every 5 mins.
2. Cool and store.


Anonymous said...

I would recommend replacing the margarine with coconut oil; it adds a little to the niter and it doesn't have all the hydrogenated issue that margarine does.

Kate said...

This is great, I've wanted to try Ethiopian recipes for a while, but they all call for berbere and I couldn't find it premade anywhere. This recipe looks easy to make, thank you!

Kristal said...

This is a pretty good recipe. I am Ethiopian and have been eating berbere all of my life. The exquisite cooks in my family don't even attempt berbere b/c the true process takes over a week (the spices are sun-dried). Most restaurants import the Berbere directly from Ethiopia b/c it is more authentic and tasty. You can buy it from which offers Berbere in convenient containers for the average household. Thanks for posting !

Anna said...

I'd love to try making berbere. However, I'm not sure what poultry seasoning consists of. Could you please tell me what's in the stuff you use? :)