Berbere Spice Blend



Serving size

1 tsp
<30 minutes


2 tsp. coriander seed
1 tsp. Cumin Seed
1/2 tsp. Spices, fenugreek seed
1 tsp., whole Black pepper
1/16 tsp. Whole Allspice (2 whole allspice berries)
4 pod Cardamom Pods
4 whole Whole Cloves
5 chili Dried Red Chilies (seeds and membranes removed, broken into small pieces)
3 Tbsp. Paprika
1/4 tsp. Ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Ground ginger
1/4 tsp. Ground cinnamon
1 tsp. Ground turmeric


Gather all ingredients and equipment.

In a heavy skillet over high heat, toast the whole spices (seeds) and chilis, shaking the pan regularly to prevent scorching, until very fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely.

Grind the cooled spices in a spice or coffee grinder. Add all remaining ground spices and salt and grind everything together.

Store in an airtight container in a dark place.

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GERD / Acid Reflux

This recipe contains GERD triggers and those with GERD may wish to avoid it.


This recipe is safe for those who are lactose intolerant.

Coumadin® (Warfarin)

This recipe is safe for Coumadin (warfarin) users.

Gluten Sensitivity

This recipe is safe for those who are sensitive to gluten.


This is a low sodium recipe.

"I sometimes reach into that tin by my stove and take a handful of berbere, sift it through my fingers, and toss it into the pan. I watch my wife cook and I imagine that I can see my mother's hands. I have taught myself the receipts of my mother's people because those foods are for me, as a chef, the easiest connection to the mysteries of who my mother was. Her identity remains stubbornly shrouded in the past, so I feed myself and the people I love the food that she made."

Marcus Samuelsson