This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Called berbere in Ethiopia, this hot and fragrant blend can be used to flavor vegetable tagines or used with legume dishes.



Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Taste and Texturespiced


  • Small tagine
  • 5 dried cayenne peppers 
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns 15 mL
  • 2 tsp allspice berries 10 mL
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds 5 mL
  • 1 tsp cardamom seeds 5 mL
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds 5 mL
  • 3 whole cloves 
  • 1 piece (1 inch/2.5 cm) cinnamon, crushed 


  1. Using scissors, cut cayenne pepper pods into small pieces. In the bottom of a small tagine, spice wok or skillet, combine pepper pieces with peppercorns, allspice, cumin, cardamom, fenugreek, cloves and cinnamon. Toast over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly colored and fragrant. Remove from direct heat just as the seeds pop; do not let the spices smoke and burn. Let cool.

  2. In a mortar (using pestle) or small electric grinder, pound or grind toasted spices until coarse or finely ground.

  3. Store in an airtight (preferably dark) glass jar with lid in a cool place for up to 3 months.


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