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Ethiopian & Yemeni Spice Mixes

There are three mixtures here: berbere, the classic Ethiopian spice blend, a spiced butter and hawaij from Yemen. Please experiment with these recipes to find what suits your own taste.

Ethiopian Berbere

  • 6 small dried red chilies
  • 3/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3/4 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
 

Yemeni Hawaij

  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 3 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 4 tablespoons turmeric
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 8 cardamom pods

 

Spiced Butter

  • 1/4 pound butter
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 - 3 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground chili
  • 1 cup mint, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
 

METHOD

Berbere: Heat a heavy sauté pan until very hot. Do not put in oil - this is done in a dry pot. When hot, lower heat and put in chilies, coriander, cardamom, peppercorns and fenugreek. Stirring continually, roast until seeds begin to color, about three minutes. Pour from pan into a bowl, and set aside to cool.

Put seeds in a mortar and pestle (best), a coffee grinder (second best) or a food processor set on high speed. Add ground allspice, cinnamon and ginger. Pulverize until powdery.

Store in an airtight jar for up to three months.

Spiced Butter: Let butter soften to room temperature. Put with other ingredients in a mortar and pestle (best), a coffee grinder (second best) or a food processor set on high speed. This is best if you use clarified butter or ghee. Regrigerate.

Hawaij: Put all ingredients in a mortar and pestle (best), a coffee grinder (second best) or a food processor set on high speed. Pulverize until powdery.

Contributor: Elinoar Moore

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