Berberé is an Ethiopian spice blend possessing a coarse, earthy texture and a zesty, hot flavor. When it comes to complex, spicy flavors, nothing surpasses Ethiopian cuisine. With it’s earthy aromas of fenugreek, cardamom, cloves and cumin Berberé embodies some of our favorite flavor combinations.
Background: We truly enjoy the Ethiopian collective dining experience … everyone sits around low tables and eats from the same plate. Usually prepared from a cupboard full of herbs and spices, Berberé is pan-roasted and fresh ground. The combination of fenugreek and red pepper is essential to Berberé; while one or two of the other ingredients may be left out, the fenugreek and red pepper are must-haves.
Regional Cuisine: Pheasant would be an ideal partner, to make a version of doro wat, a chicken stew considered the national dish of Ethiopia; remember African chickens tend to be old and tough — closer to pheasant than American chicken. Or, you could use venison to make a dish of segi wat, which is typically prepared with lamb. Berberé adds wonderful spiciness when used as a rub on red or white meats for roasting, grilling, barbecuing or pan-frying. Add water or oil to form a paste to flavor stir-fries, soups and casseroles or use it as a base for curry.