Simon’s Berbere Spice Mix

During our recent Episode 8 of the Eat | Drink | Cheap Podcast entitled “Meal Planning and Other Tips” my co-host and gastronaut Simon made reference to an Ethiopian spice mix he likes to whip up and add to stews such as Doro Wat.

This spicy, brick red blend of silk road staples is very complex and surprising with the heat of chillies and peppercorns balanced with cooling cardamom and coriander all punctuating the savoury/sweet hum of dried onion powder and paprika. Every home in Ethiopia has a different blend!

I copied his recipe from our little chat and made my own batch, sprinkling it over grilled meat and roasted potatoes, mixing it into lamb meatballs and generally adding it to everything until my wife told me she needed a break! *laughs*

Simon’s Berber Spice Mix (makes roughly 1 cup


  • 1” long Cinnamon Stick 
  • 1 tbls Coriander Seeds 
  • 1 tsp Fennugreek Seeds 
  • 1 tsp Black Peppercorns 
  • 6 Cardamom Pods 
  • 3 Allspice Berries 
  • 4 Small Dried Chillies 
  • ¼ Cup Onion Powder 
  • 3 tbls Paprika 
  • ½ tsp Dried Ginger 
  • ½ tsp Dried Nutmeg 


  1. Heat a medium-sized pan on medium heat and toast the cinnamon, coriander, fennugreek, peppercorns, cardamom, allspice and chillies for 2 minutes until aromatic and sizzly.
  2. Transfer the toasty spices to a mortar and pestle or a clean coffee/spice grinder and grind them up into a fine powder. Mix with the remaining dried spices and sift into an airtight jar. Store for up to 3 months.

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