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Berbere Paste
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    Berbere Paste

    Berbere is a red-pepper and spice paste indigneous to Ethiopia. Here is a receipe for this very complicated paste.
    To Make about 2 cups:

  • one teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teapsoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 t. ground coriander
  • 1/2 t. fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 t. ground nutmeg, fresh grated
  • 1/8 t. ground cloves
  • 1/8 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons dry red wine.
  • 2 cups pakrika
  • 2 tablespoons ground hot red pepper
  • 1/2 t. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
  • In a heavy 3 quart saucepan(non stick) toast the ginger, cardamom, coriander, fenufreek, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and allspice over low heat for a minute or so, stirring them constantly until they are heated through. The remove the pan from the heat and let the spices cool for 5-10 minutes.
    Combine the toasted spices, onions, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the salt and the wine in the jar of an electric blender and blend at high speed until the mixtrure is a smooth paste.
    Combine the paprika, red pepper, black peeper and the remaining tablespoon of salt in the sacuepan and toast them over low heat for a minute or so, until they are heated through, shaking the pan and stirring the spices constantly. Stir in the water, 1/4 cup at a time, then add the spice and wine mixture. Stirring vigorously, cook over the lowest heat setting for 10 to 15 minutes.
    With a rubber spatula, transfer the berber to a jar or crock, and pack it in tightly. Let the past cool to room temperature, then dribble enough oil over the top to make a film at least 1/4 inch thick. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. If you replenish the film of oil on top each time you use the berbere, it can safely be kept in the refrigerator for 5-6 months.
    I have tried this recipe myself and belief it close to the real thing.

    From: Time/Life Books, Food of the World Series, Recipes: African Cooking. copyright 1970.
    Posted By: john scott porterfield, johnscot@sylvania.sev.org Via: Chile Head Mailing List
    Post Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999

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