Friday, 8 August 2014

Beef with Berbre

Every culture and country has a spice blend which is used frequently in their every day cooking. Let it 5 spice powder from China, Garam Masala powder from Pakistan, Curry Powder from India, Ras el Hanout from the Arabian peninsua, Xawassh from Somalia. Berbre is an Ethiopian spice blend which uses a number of spices to get the final mix. It is used in Ethiopian cooking like we Pakistanis use garam masala in our our food. Famours curries from Ethiopia are called "Wat". Cooking a 'wat' is tie consuming as you need to caramalize onions in most cases on a low flame. Here is how I incorporated Berbre with a str fried version of beef and served with rice. 


Lean Beef                                    2 lbs bite size pieces
Vinegar                                        1/2 cup
Turmeric                                      1/2 tsp
Berbere                                       1-2 tbsp (its hot so adjust according to your taste)
Salt                                              2/3 tsp
Ghee                                            4 tbsp
Bell pepper cubes                        1/2 cup (I used red)
Onion sliced                                 1/2 cup


  1. Put turmeric and vinegar in a bowl and add beef pieces to it, let it rest for 2-3 hours as vinegar will tenderize the beef. Drain well and keep aside.
  2. Heat ghee in a broad pan and add meat in single layer, do not stir the meat until u see it browning from the bottom. Once the bottom is browned turn over and brown from the other side. Keep browning the meat in batches until all is done. 
  3. Add berbere and salt to it and mix well in the pan and cook for another 3-4 mins.
  4. Add onion and bell pepper and turn the heat off. Cover the pot for 3-4 mins n serve with rice, pasta or bread:)

Berbre Mix

Coriander seeds                 2 tsp
Black peppercorns             1⁄2 tsp
Allspice                              1/4 tsp
Green cardamom                4-6 
Cloves                                4-6
Red Chili powder                1 tsp
Paprika                               2 tsp
Nutmeg                               1 cracked
Ginger powder                    1/4 tsp
Cinnamon powder               1/4tsp


  1. Roast all the spices except red chili and paprika powder till fragrant.
  2. Using a coffee grinder, make a powder. 
  3. Add paprika and red chili powder and mix well. Keep in an air tight container.

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