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Berbere Seasoning

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Berbere seasoning is used in many Ethiopian dishes. 

If you like a good Ethiopian curry or stew, you’ll need berbere seasoning to make them.

You can purchase berbere seasoning online and at specialty Ethiopian shops but it’s really easy to whip up yourself. 

Berbere seasoning powder

Homemade berbere seasoning. This is what you need to make the best Ethiopian food.

What is berbere seasoning?

This seasoning is used in so many Ethiopian recipes. 

It’s really just a curry powder that has been developed over the years to local tastes. If you have ever prepared a homemade curry powder, this will be just as easy to make.

It keeps for at least three months in an air-tight container so I usually make quite a lot. Berbere seasoning is good to have on hand. 

How much berbere seasoning should you add to your Ethiopian dishes?

This special blend is used in large amounts usually. We’re talking in excess of 8 tablespoons for a 4 -6 person recipe!

This may not be to your liking. I have given the amount I use in recipes such as doro wat (chicken stew) and other dishes but feel free to use less or more to taste. 

At the end of the day, you’re the one eating it so be sure to let your tongue be the guide and don’t feel like you have to stick to the recipe. 

Step by step…

Ingredients for berbere seasoning

It’s always best to get all of your ingredients together before starting.

Roasting chillies

Roast the chillies over medium high heat until softened and fragrant but not yet smoking. Be sure to stir regularly so that they roast evenly. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Toasting spices

Now roast the whole spices until fragrant and warm to the touch but not yet smoking. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Spices in a spice grinder

Place the cooled chillies and spices in a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder. A pestle and mortar will also work for this.

Ground spices.

Once the whole spices and chillies are ground, add the remaining ingredients and stir them in.

berbere seasoning

This berbere spice blend should last for up to three months in a cool environment in an air-tight container

Berbere Seasoning

berbere seasoning
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • Seeds from 5 green cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • ¼ nutmeg, smashed
  • 1 x 2.5cm (1 inch) cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 whole allspice berries
  • 5 cloves
  • 10 dried red chillies , cut into small pieces
  • 5 generous tbsp paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric


  1. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat and add the whole spice. Roast in the pan until fragrant and warm to the touch but not yet smoking. This should only take 30 – 60 seconds. Transfer the spices to a plate to cool slightly and the grind to a fine powder using a pestle and mortar or spice grinder.
  2. Now roast the chillies until warm and fragrant but not yet smoking. This will take about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  3. Mix in the remaining ingredients and store in a cool, dry location in an air tight container. Berbera should keep for at least three months.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 77Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 599mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 6gSugar: 6gProtein: 3g

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I hope you enjoy this berbere seasoning recipe. This will take your Ethiopian recipes up a notch or two!

If you do try it, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you. 

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