Ethiopian cuisine, with influences from India’s trade routes and Italy’s partial colonial rule, relies heavily on ancient, yet sophisticated spice blends. These carefully concocted blends transform the humblest ingredients- lentils, cheap cuts of meat, vegetables- into the extraordinary, deeply flavored dishes that Ethiopia is so well known for.
Berbere, a trademark of authentic Ethiopian dishes, is most commonly used in wats, or stews made of meat or lentils. Our favorite way to use berbere is in this month’s recipe, key wat, which is built on a braise of onions, berbere, mitmita, tomatoes and fall apart braised beef for an incredibly rich dish. For a vegetarian alternative, we’ve also included a classic Ethiopian lentil stew, misr wot, on our blog. Lastly, Ethiopia’s delicious coffee traditions and Italian influences tie in sweets- we've included freshly ground pumpkin pie spice- for baked donuts or a healthy pumpkin smoothie.
We are also very proud to partner with Asante Mama, a Ugandan based innovative farming business that has helped to lift over 5,000 rural women out of poverty through farming. We’ve included their African bird’s eye chili peppers in our berbere blend. As always, more recipe ideas are in our blog and newsletter, so be sure to sign up. Enjoy this month’s spices and don’t forget to tag us @rawspicebar and #rawspicebar with your cooking photos!
BIRD'S EYE BERBERE
Arguably the most famous spice blend of Ethiopian cuisine, this Bird's Eye Berbere is smoky, spicy and complex.
PUMPKIN PIE SPICE
This fall inspired pumpkin pie spice blend is unlike all those other traditional blends- with freshly ground cinnamon, allspice and star anise as the star ingredients.