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Berbere Spice Blend

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This unique berbere spice blend is a flavor explosion, combining earthy and zesty notes in a truly one-of-a-kind way! This recipe makes a large batch that can be stored and used as needed. Whether you’re grilling beef steaks, lamb chops, chicken, or fish or experimenting with vegetarian dishes, this mixture will elevate your culinary creations.  


What is berbere spice?

This versatile spice mixture is a culinary masterpiece and a mainstay of Ethiopian/Eritrean cuisine. It can be used as a dry rub, but it also adds a unique depth to stews and vegetarian dishes. This blend features warm, earthy spices like cinnamon, cumin, and allspice, with savory additions like dried onion and garlic.

The difference between berbere spice and mitmita

In Ethiopian cuisine, mitmita is a commonly used spice by cooks as a spicy and flavorful alternative to berbere spice. The fine-ground blend is quite popular and similar to berbere but includes hot chili powder that gives it an extra kick.

How do you use berbere spice?

Use Berbere spice blend to flavor meats, soups, and stews like Doro Wat, lentils, and vegetables. Apply as a dry rub to raw meats like beef roasts or steaks, leg of lamb, or whole smoked chicken. This mixture can also be used in marinades, dips, and sauces.


Recipe Ingredients

  • Paprika
  • Sea salt (kosher works too!)
  • Fenugreek (This clover-like herb has maple notes and found in spice blends across the Mediterranean and Middle East. )
  • Coriander powder
  • Cumin powder
  • Black pepper
  • Ginger powder
  • Cayenne
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom powder (you can also use korarima; an Ethiopian powdered cardamom)
  • Turmeric
  • Cloves
  • Allspice

How to Make It

  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. 
  • If you’d like a finer grind, place the combined rub into a spice or coffee grinder and process until it transforms into a fine powder. 
  • I recommend using a metal spice shaker for easy application on large roasts and whole chickens.
  • Store Berbere spice blend in an airtight jar for up to 1 year after preparation. Use as needed.

Like this recipe? Try some of our other spice blends:


Berbere Spice Blend

Berbere Spice is an East African mixture used in a variety of dishes., and has a warm, zesty flavor.
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Rubs
Cuisine: African
Keyword: African spice rub, spice rub
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 0.75 cup
Calories: 178kcal
Author: Sabrina Baksh


  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice


  • Place all ingredients in a bowl, and stir together with a fork until well combined.
  • If you desire a fine ground seasoning blend, add the mixture to a spice grinder or magic bullet, and grind until it reaches your preferred consistency. Use right away or store in an airtight container in the cupboard for up to 1 year.


Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 18638mg | Potassium: 749mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2054IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 257mg | Iron: 15mg

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