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Berbere Spice Rub

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Berbere Spice Rub is an East African blend used in various dishes. This fantastic rub bursts with an earthy and moderately spicy flavor! Our recipe makes a large batch that can be stored and used when needed. 

Berbere spice rub contains a wide variety of spices such as cumin, coriander, and cinnamon, which are easy to find in most grocery stores. Other spices, including fenugreek and cardamom, are readily available online or in specialty food stores. 

Berbere Spice

What is berbere spice?

Berbere spice rub is a mixture of warm, earthy spices like cinnamon, cumin, and allspice coupled with dried savories such as onion and garlic. This spice rub is applied to raw meats and added to stews, and vegetarian dishes.

What is the difference between berbere spice and mitmita?

Mitmita is the second most popular spice blend in Ethiopian cooking after berbere spice. Ground finer and containing hot chili powder, cooks use to season beef or sprinkle it onto cooked food, particularly stews and injera.

How do you use berbere spice?

Use Berbere spice rub to flavor meats, soups, and stews like Doro Wat, lentils, and vegetables. Apply as a dry rub to raw meats like beef or chicken or mix with liquid to form a paste before application. This mixture is great for grilled, smoked, stewed, or baked foods.

Berbere Spice Rub Recipe


  • Paprika
  • Sea salt (kosher works too!)
  • Fenugreek (An integral part Berbere spice rub, feugreek is a of clover-like herb that smells reminiscent of maple syrup found in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions)
  • Coriander powder
  • Cumin powder
  • Black pepper
  • Ginger powder
  • Cayenne
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom powder
  • 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 fine. 
  • I recommend using a metal spice shaker for easy application on large roasts and whole chickens.
  • Store Berbere spice rub in an airtight jar for up to 1 year after preparation. Use as needed.

Like this recipe? Try some of our other rubs:

Berbere Spice Rub Recipe

Berbere Spice Rub

Berbere Spice Rub is an East African blend used in a variety of dishes. The flavor profile is a cross between earthy and spicy, so keep this in mind when using it. This recipe makes a large batch that can be stored in a jar and used as needed.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Rubs
Cuisine: African
Keyword: African spice rub, spice rub
Prep Time: 10 minutes
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


  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Store in an airtight jar for up to 1 year after preparation. Use as needed.
Derrick Riches
Derrick Riches

I began writing about Barbecue & Grilling in 1997 with one mission, to help the backyard chef have the best experience possible.



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