Berbere - actually berbère - is the usual substitute for pepper in Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine. The name is derived from papere, which in Ge'ez - an ancient language spoken in Ethiopia - meant hot. It is one of the oldest herbal blends in the world. It was made in the fifth century, long before chili peppers were also introduced in this part of Africa.

Berbere has been a trusted spice mixture for decades, only known here in its dry form. There is also a "wet version" with fresh onion, ginger and garlic, in the dry version replaced by onion flakes, ginger and garlic powder. While the composition of berbere, as is the case with most spice blends, may vary from region to region, from retailer to retailer and from household to household, pepper always predominates.

Like no other country, Ethiopia has a tradition in which it integrates elements from other cultures. In the days of the Egyptians, this part of Africa was the center of the trade in spices from the Orient, which was mixed with homegrown spices such as korarima and African peppers, such as timiz, the African long pepper.

Berbere is not a chili powder, and much available berbere contains emphatically too much chili pepper, dominating the rich flavors of the other spices. An authentic berbere contains the following spices, most of which is roasted:

  • kunitali - cumin seeds,
  • korarima - white cardamom,
  • dimbibal - cilantro,
  • abish - blue fenugreek seed,
  • tikuri beribere - black pepper,
  • timiz - cape long peppers,
  • kiloki - cloves,
  • allspice, and

(not roasted)

  • besobela - ethiopian (clove) basil
  • zinjibil - ginger and
  • tena-adam - fringed rue

Smell and taste

Berbere is spicy and spicy. No tena'adam has been used in this Berbere, which is the case in many authentic Berberes. Are you curious about the influence of this passion fruit pepper on the taste, we also sell tena'adam. Dose it sparingly, tena'adam has a slight bitter note.


Berbere is used in Ethiopia and Eritrea in many stews (wots) from lentils to chicken. Berbere is powerful enough to also be used as a rub on red meat. One of the most important uses is in awaze, a condiment that you can also make yourself, from berbere, honey wine (t'ej or mead) and some oil.


  • mixture as described above: chili pepper (cayenne), black pepper, fenugreek, coriander, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, cumin and ginger
  • origin: Ethiopia, Eritrea


  • available in jar containing 60 grams,
  • and in stand-up pouches with a content of 45, 75 or 250 grams
  • larger quantities on request

Gift packages

  • the jar is available in a tasteful black cubic box
  • for further details (and images) of our gift packaging, please refer to the product page

General advice

  • keep berbere in a dry and pretty cool place
  • the expiry date is meant as an indication

Best before

  • February 2024

Composition: chili pepper, black pepper, fenugreek, coriander, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, cumin and ginger
No additions Contains no preservatives and / or salt
Allergen information
This product may contain traces of CELERY and MUSTARD

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