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Cooking with Ethiopian Spices

Cooking with Ethiopian Spices

Life is still largely pastoral in Ethiopia. Small-scale food production dominates the country's agriculture. Ethiopian gastronomy is a lesson in vegetarian cooking with a large number of starches at its core: lentils, millet ("t'ef" in Ethiopian), split peas ... Meat when eaten (usually beef, chicken, goat or lamb) is always served in a stew ( "Wat" in Ethiopian). The staple of their diet is the t'ef (or teff). This millet flour is the prime ingredient for making the injera: a sourdough-risen flatbread that not only functions as a dish to serve meals on, but also as a spoon to scoop up sauces and dishes. Indeed, in Ethiopia, the meal is always made up of a large single dish placed on a coffee table from which with the right hand only everyone carves out bite-size morsels using small pieces of injera. The other essential ingredient is the famous Berber blend: a mixture consisting mainly of hot pepper, cardamom and other endemic spices. It is sprinkled on stews or mixed with oil and Tej (Ethiopian mead) to form a dough called "awaze" which is the foundation for several marinades. The Awaze is also used as a condiment per se much in the same way that harrissa in North Africa or the purée of Espelette pepper in the Basque Country are used.


Ingredients :

- 4 whole chicken legs - 3 onions and 3 sliced shallots - 5 garlic cloves - 4 hard boiled eggs - 1 piece of fresh grated ginger - 2 tablespoons of Berber (or one for a dish a little less spicy!) - 2 diced tomatoes - 120 grams of tomato concentrate - 1 lemon - 15 centiliters of water - 4 tablespoons of olive oil - Salt - Pepper

Preparation :

  1. Put the chicken legs in a bowl then add water, lemon juice and season.
  2. Marinate for 20 minutes in the fridge.
  3. Brush the chicken and brown it in a greased pan for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
  4. Add onions and shallots, cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and the tomato concentrate.
  5. Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes. Now add the ginger, garlic, and berber blend and season to taste.
  6. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Finally add the hard-boiled eggs and dip them in the sauce.
  7. Simmer for still another 10 minutes.
  8. Serve with pan-fried spinach, a stew of berber lentils (Yemisir kik wat), fresh diced tomatoes, all harmoniously distributed on the injera.

How to use ethiopian spices ?

Berber Blend

Packing heat, this blend is perfect on roasted or grilled meats. You can also use it to prepare "spaghetti zigni" with hot sauce. Mix it with a little water and oil and your spicy Ethiopian paste will enliven all your dishes!


The black seeds inside the pod release a fruity and balsamic fragrance that blends beautifully with a braised beef or grilled mullet filet. Its aromas of roasted resin and herbs harmonize perfectly with cold meats like a terrine (meat loaf) of poultry liver or a sweetbread.


Timiz pepper delivers an intense aroma of tobacco and resin. It will match perfectly with a terrine of poultry liver, with a creamy soft cheese yogurt (fromage frais) drizzled in olive oil and topped by fresh herbs, or even with a bitter chocolate dessert.

Passion Berries

The fruity and vegetal aroma of this berry is reminiscent of passion fruit. Grind and sprinkle just before serving a roasted fish or a pan-fried vegetable. Infuse it in cream for poultry sauce or a caramelized pear pie.

Our Ethiopian products at the shop :


Timiz pepper

Passion berry

Mit Mita

Berbere Mix

And how would you use our Ethiopian products?

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