A spoonful of red Ethiopian berbere spice mix is held over white dish of blend

Ethiopian berbere spice mix

  • Author: Denise
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1/2 cup 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Homemade fiery, sweet, and aromatic Ethiopian berbere spice mix adds warmth and unique spicy, rich undertones to a variety of your culinary creations.



Whole spices

  • 5 dried red chilies (1 tsp. red chili flakes)
  • 1 -  1 ½ inch stick cinnamon (1 tsp. ground)
  • 2 allspice berries (1/8 tsp. ground)
  • 1 tsp. cardamom pods (10 green pods or 1 ½ tsp. ground)
  • ½ tsp. cloves (1/4 tsp. ground)
  • 2 tsp. coriander seeds (2 ½ tsp. ground)
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds (2 ½ tsp. ground)
  • 2 tsp. fenugreek seeds (or 1 tsp. ground)
  • 1 tsp. white peppercorns (1 tsp. ground)

Ground spices

  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp nutmeg (or ¼ tsp. whole nutmeg)
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. sea salt


  1. Break the red chilis and shake the seeds out if you want your berbere less hot. Break the cinnamon stick.
  2. Add the whole spices (red chilies, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, and peppercorns to a heavy bottom skillet or pan. Heat the seeds over medium heat and toast them for 1-2 minutes. Stir them throughout to keep them from burning.
  3. Transfer the whole spices to a spice grinder and grind the spices until they are broken down into a fine powder.
  4. Add the spices from the grinder and the ground spices (ginger, nutmeg, smoked and sweet paprika, turmeric, and sea salt to a small bowl or jar. Mix well.
  5. Use berbere to spice up your favorite Ethiopian-inspired dishes.


  • Store berbere in an airtight container. Be sure to label it and include the date.
  • This is a dry spice, so it will stay as fresh as the oldest date on any individual spice; however, a good guideline is to use it within 3 months.
  • Category: Essential Ingredients
  • Cuisine: Ethiopian

Keywords: Ethiopian berbere spice mix

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