Niter Kibbeh (Ethiopian Spiced Clarified Butter) Recipe

Niter Kibbeh, also known as spiced clarified butter, is a versatile and flavorful ingredient found in many Ethiopian dishes. Originating from the country of Ethiopia, it has been used for centuries as an important part of their cuisine. The flavor of Niter Kibbeh is unique and can vary depending on the spices used to make it. As a result, it can be used in both savory and sweet dishes alike.

Niter Kibbeh (Ethiopian Spiced Clarified Butter) Recipe

Recipe by theethiopianfoodCourse: Base IngredientCuisine: EthiopianDifficulty: Intermediate

Niter Kibbeh is one of the most essential ingredients in almost all authentic Ethiopian foods. And while it is readily available for sale, it is a lot of fun making your own!


  • 1 lb butter, unsalted

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

  • 1 tbsp ginger, chopped

  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds

  • ½ tsp turmeric

  • 6 black cardamom pods, lightly crushed

  • 1 tsp whole allspice berries

  • 1 tsp dried oregano


  • Start by melting the butter using a small-sized saucepan at medium-low heat occasionally swirling it around.
  • Add the onions, garlic, ginger, fenugreek, turmeric, cardamoms, allspice berries, and oregano; and simmer for approx. 30 minutes until the butter clears and milk solids go to the bottom of the saucepan.
  • Then, lower the heat so that the butter doesn’t boil too quick or burn.
  • Line a strainer using a dampened clean cheesecloth. And then remove the foam that is on top of the butter.
  • Finally, ladle the butter using the strainer, which leaves the milk solids that were at the bottom of the saucepan. You now have your Niter Kibbeh!

Ingredients And Equipment

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