Tag Archives: Berbere


Two dishes I make take several days to prepare. One is a mushroom-port lasagne, the other is the national dish of Ethiopia, Doro Wot. Why does it take so long? Because I insist on making everything from scratch.

The first step in making Doro Wat is to make the underlying spice, Berbere. I know there are purchasable versions of Berbere but I’ve found they lack strength and often, are too expensive.

The list of ingredients is long but I think once you make it, you’ll find many a salad, sandwich and snack can be transformed by its flavours.

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  • 2 t Cumin Seeds
  • 1 t Cardamom Seeds (not whole pods)
  • 1/4 t Whole Allspice
  • 2 t Ground Fenugreek
  • 1/2 t Coriander Seeds
  • 10 Small Dried Red Chilies
  • 1 t Ground Ginger
  • 4 Whole Cloves
  • 1/4 t Ground Tumeric
  • 1 t Sea Salt
  • 2 T Sweet Paprika
  • 1/8 t Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 t Ground Nutmeg

Dry-fry the seeds and whole spices (cumin, cardamom, allspice, coriander, chili and clove) over med-high heat for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove to a plate, let cool.

Combine the dry-fried seeds and all remaining ingredients in a coffee grinder. Process to smooth powder. I’ve tried doing this is a blender and food processor but nothing works as well as a coffee grinder.

Next we will make, Nitr Qibe,  the spiced butter necessary for Doro Wot.