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What Spices Are In Ethiopian Food?

Regardless of the kind of eater you are, we think that you’ll find something to love among our menu full of Ethiopian food.

Ethiopian Food Uses Spice For Flavor, Not (Only) Heat.

If you’ve ever put yourself on a “healthy” diet before, only to be shocked by the blandness of everything you tasted, you’re a great candidate for trying Ethiopian food. “With its rich, spicy stews and diversity of flavors, Ethiopian food surely qualifies as one the world’s great stand-alone cuisines,” writes food and travel blogger Daniel Noll. “Considering the country’s history and geography, particularly in situ, it makes sense. The cuisine follows the culture, formed and informed by millennia of trade and exchange with the Middle East, Asia and the Mediterranean. Amidst this storm of positive culinary influence, acquired spices blend with Ethiopia’s indigenous ingredients. And, poof! You get Ethiopian food, a unique table befitting the context.” So yes, while some Ethiopian dishes are spicy, we prefer to think of our cuisine as overflowing with flavor, with some occasional heat.

Essential Ethiopian Spice Blends

  1. Berbere – This is the heavyweight champion of all Ethiopian spice blends, and while you won’t find it in 100 percent of our dishes, you can’t really say you’ve eaten Ethiopian food unless you’ve tried it. This blend is made with ground Ethiopian red pepper, garlic, ginger, sacred basil, cloves, fenugreek, cumin, cardamom and more, depending upon each chef’s recipe.
  2. Kibbeh – This stable of Ethiopian cuisine isn’t a spice alone, but a clarified butter, similar to India’s ghee, that has been revved up with a delicious spice blend. Again, the specific spices can vary depending on the preferences of the chef, but most Niter Kibbeh will contain garlic, ginger, turmeric, cardamom, nutmeg, fenugreek, cinnamon, and clove.
  3. Mitmita – Another heavy hitter in the Ethiopian spice rack, this blend is an even hotter flavoring than Berbere. It’s made with ground up Ethiopian chili peppers, cardamom, cloves, salt, sacred basil, and maybe some koseret, an African herb that’s similar to sage.
  4. Mekelesha – This is a milder, all-purpose Ethiopian spice blend. It’s made using cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, ginger, cloves, and maybe even some nutmeg, and it’s added to just about any dish that needs a punch of flavor.

Come try out Beniam Cuisine and experience the flavorful atmosphere no matter the type of eater you and your family members may be. Check out our menu today!