This is a simplified yet equally as tasty niter kibbeh recipe.
To make traditional niter kibbeh, you start with unsalted butter and then slowly simmer with the spices and herbs for about an hour.
As the butter simmers it separates and the solids are skimmed off to make a spiced clarified butter. I find it easier to start with ghee which is what I have done here. This popular spiced butter is added to Ethiopian stews but it is also delicious brushed onto grilled chicken, fish and vegetables for grilling or frying.
This niter kibbeh is delicious and will keep, covered in the fridge for up to three months.
How to use niter kibbeh…
You will find a good selection of Ethiopian recipes on my blog that call for niter kibbeh. It is usually added at the end of cooking though it can also be added at the beginning.
This spiced ghee adds amazing flavour.
Is there a substitute for niter kibbeh?
Not really but you could just use ghee. The niter kibbeh adds a subtle flavour of spice so I highly recommend making some.
You can also purchase niter kebbeh online and at specialist Ethiopian grocers.
Step by step…
It’s always a good idea to get all of your ingredients together before cooking.
Roast the whole spices over medium high heat until fragrant and warm to the touch.
Stir the spices for about 30 seconds and then immediately add the ghee to melt in the pan.
Bring the ghee to a simmer and then add the remaining ingredients.
How long does the ghee need to simmer to make niter kibbeh?
Good question! I usually just simmer the ghee over a medium heat with the spices for about 30 minutes.
I have seen a few super keen chefs infuse the spices in the ghee for up to an hour. It does strengthen the flavour.
If I were making a special Ethiopian dinner, I would cook my niter kibbeh for about an hour but for a shorter time if just cooking for family.
Stir the ingredients into the ghee and simmer over medium heat or 30 to 60 minutes.
Be sure not to burn the onion and garlic. Just simmer over a medium heat and watch it carefully.
Strain through a fine sieve lined with a cheese cloth.
The spiced ghee will be clear. Place it in the fridge to use as needed.
The niter kibbeh will harden in the fridge.
Niter Kibbeh - Ethiopian Spiced Ghee
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
10 green cardamom pods, seeds only
1 x 2.5cm (1 inch) cinnamon stick
450g (1 lb) ghee
1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground fenugreek
1.2 tsp ground turmeric
Place the cardamom seeds, cloves and cinnamon stick in a large skillet and roast over medium high heat until warm to the touch and fragrant but not yet smoking. This should only take about a minute.
Add the ghee and bring it to a simmer in the pan with the whold spices and then add the remaining ingredients.
Simmer over low heat for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour and then strain through a fine sieve. Your niter kibbeh can be stored in the fridge for about 6 months and can also be frozen for much longer.
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I hope you enjoy using this niter kibbeh recipe in your Ethiopian dishes. If you do try it, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.