I live in a small town in Canada and unsurprisingly there isn’t a single grocery store here selling berbere spice. So I decided to make my own. Berbere is a spice blend that is an important ingredient in Ethiopian cuisine. It’s very easy to make and even in my small town, I was able to find all the required ingredients.
If you live in a major city, it probably won’t be difficult for you to find berbere spice in a grocery store. However, a homemade version might be cheaper in the long run as the ingredients will likely yield more berbere spice. You also get to control what ingredients go into the spice blend which is always a plus.
Berbere Spice (Ethiopian Spice Blend)
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp ground paprika
- 1 tbsp ground cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp whole or ground cumin
- 1 tsp whole or ground coriander
- 1 tsp whole or ground green cardamom seeds
- 1 tsp whole or ground fenugreek
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp whole or ground cloves
- If using whole spices, toast them in a heavy skillet over high heat for about 3 minutes, turning regularly to prevent burning. Let the spices cool completely and then grind them using a spice grinder.
- Once all the spices have been ground, add them all together and lightly grind them into an even mix.
- Store in an airtight container and use as needed.