This fiery spice mixture that forms the basis of many Ethiopian and Eritrean recipes. You can use either this paste or the dry spice blend as a rub.
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 cups ground paprika
- 2 tablespoons ground cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ cups water
- In a cast-iron skillet, toast the ginger, cardamom, coriander, fenugreek, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice over low heat. Do not burn; this should only take a minute or so. Set aside to cool.
- Combine the spices, onions, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the salt, and 3 tablespoons water in a small jar of a blender and blend until smooth.
- Combine the paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and the remaining tablespoon of salt in the skillet and toast over low heat for a minute or so. Stir in the water, ¼ cup at a time. Then stir in the blended mixture. Stirring vigorously, cook over the lowest possible heat for 10-15 minutes.
- Transfer the berbere to a jar, packing it in tightly. Let the paste cook to room temperature, then cover with a film of oil. Store in the refrigerator between use.