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How to make Ethiopian hot pepper seasoning

Yes, Indianapolis has an Ethiopian restaurant--Abyssinia, located at 5352 W. 38th Street, in Lafayette Square. One spice mix used in Ethiopian cooking, according to Extending the Table (a cookbook available at both Global Gifts locations), is hot pepper seasoning, or berbere. It's pronounced behr-behr-ee, and is used in Ethiopian stews called wats and ambesha, a spicy yeast bread. Can't find berbere in town? Here's how to make your own, with a recipe inspired by Mennonite Central Committee.

Combine in heavy frypan:

1/4 cup ground red pepper

1/3 cup paprika

1 teaspoon Sriracha salt (available at Artisano's in Nora)

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (also available at Artisano's)

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon fenugreek (I got mine at The Original Farmer's Market at the Indianapolis City Market)

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Dash ground cinnamon

Dash ground cloves

Dash ground allspice

Roast at medium heat, stirring frequently, for about five minutes.

This recipe makes one cup.

Not sure what to do with it? Extending the Table offers two recipes calling for berbere, including my favorite--ambesha! But that's another article, and Google has many berbere-containing recipes. Try it in lentils, chicken, or yogurt. The only limit is your imagination.

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