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Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: about ½ cup (35 g)


This spice blend sits the heart of the Ethiopian pantry. Made with dried chili peppers and a lengthy list of other spices, it is both quite fiery and also complexly flavored. In Israel, Ethiopian home cooks often keep several large jars of homemade berbere in the cupboard or refrigerator to have on hand when making the chicken and egg stew, Doro Wot, kik wot (Spiced Split Pea Stew) or many other traditional dishes.


  • 6 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed and seeded
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 3 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice


  • Add the chilies, peppercorns and fenugreek seeds to a spice grinder and pulse until finely ground. In a container with a tight-fitting lid, combine the ground spices with the paprika, ginger, onion powder, salt, coriander, garlic powder, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Shake or stir to combine. Store, covered, for up to 3 months.
  • Recipe reprinted from THE JEWISH COOKBOOK by Leah Koenig (Phaidon, 2019).

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