addis ababa’s got nothing on us! (part I)

That’s not true, actually. I have no doubt that the food and coffee in Addis Ababa are delicious. Alas, we live nowhere near there, nor does EC Illinois have any Ethiopian (or Eritrean, for that matter) restaurants, at least not any that I know about. No big deal though, b/c apparently we can make a damn good approximation right here — neither a set of plane tickets, nor a trip to the big city required.

Before I could start in on the dishes or the financier could tackle the injera, I needed to make up some berbere. I thought about getting some from the market, but since we have a spice drawer that could eat the Midwest, I just made it. One of my two favorite sous chefs helped me out.

Berbere (medium spicy)
2 t. cumin seeds
5 whole cloves
1 t. smoked cardamom seed
1/2 t. whole black peppercorns
1 t. fenugreek seeds
1 t. coriander seed

8 dried red chilies (not sure what they were, but they’re smallish and I think, Mexican)

1 t. dried ginger
1 t. turmeric
1 t. salt
2.5 T sweet paprika (I used Spanish)
1/8 t. cinnamon
1/4 ground whole allspice

Roast the whole spices in a dry pan until toasty. Grind. I used a (dedicated) coffee grinder, b/c I’m too weak for the mortar and pestle. Add chili peppers to grinder. Grind again. Add powdered spices to grinder. Grind one last time.

This is on the spicier end of medium.

toast it!
grind it.
have it.

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