9 Uniquely Ethiopian Condiments: Traditional Ingredients, Spices and Seasonings

One of the defining factors in Ethiopian food is the unique flavors that result from the wide variety Ethiopian condiments used to make these dishes one-of-a-kind.

As an ancient civilization built on trade with other civilizations in the region at the time, Ethiopian foods have developed a rich array of dishes and cooking techniques using several traditional ingredients.

As such, Ethiopian food is full of delightful flavors that result from the mixture of numerous different spices and herbs, well-crafted over many generations to be not too spicy but very well-seasoned.

Here are some of the most important traditional ingredients, spices, and seasonings that play a central role in the making of an amazing Ethiopian dish.

  • niter kibbeh 1 1 1

    Niter Kibbeh (Ethiopian Spiced Clarified Butter) Recipe

    Cooks in 70 minutesDifficulty: 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!

  • berbere image new ii

    Berbere Recipe

    Cooks in 70 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    Berbere is an essential part of Ethiopian cuisine. Many popular dishes such as Doro Wot, require this spice. However, if you have found it difficult to find berbere in your local grocery or supermarket, you can make your own right in your own kitchen.

  • mitmita recipe

    Mitmita Recipe

    Cooks in 70 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    Mitmita is a traditional powdered, red-orange spice blend that’s widely used in Ethiopia. It is the second most popular spice blend after Berbere. It is generally made from hot peppers that are stronger than those used in Berbere.
    Traditionally, the main ingredients for making Mitmita are dried chili peppers, Korarima seeds (Ethiopian cardamom), but can also include other spices such as cloves, cumin, green cardamom, black pepper, dried garlic, cinnamon and salt. There is no one single recipe for this mixture of spices, instead there are in fact, many versions.

  • awaze ethiopian spicy dipping sauce

    Awaze Recipe – How to Make Ethiopian Spicy Dipping Sauce

    Cooks in 5 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    Awaze, also known as Dilih in some parts of Ethiopia, is one of the most popular Ethiopian traditional Ethiopian sauces. Here is an easy-to-follow Awaze Recipe you can try to make at home.

  • afrenje ethiopian chili pepper spice blend recipe

    Afrenje (Ethiopian Chili Pepper Spice Blend) Recipe

    Cooks in 30 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    Afrenje is a great substitute for some of Ethiopia’s well known spicy spice blends such as Berbere and Mitmita, especially for people with more delicate palates. With Afrenje, anyone can savor traditional Ethiopian flavors without having to tolerate too much heat. Afrenje tastes fantastic with recipes that have grilled or raw meat.

  • kochkocha 1 1

    Kochkocha (Da’ta or Yekarya Delleh) Recipe

    Cooks in 70 minutesDifficulty: Intermediate

    Use this recipe to make a hot and delicious dipping sauce that is quite easy to make for any occasion. It is great to eat with Dirkosh, as well as most meat-based Tibs dishes.

  • senafich spicy mustard seed sauce recipe

    Senafich (Spicy Mustard Seed Sauce) Recipe

    Cooks in 70 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    Senafich is Amharc which directly translates to Mustard. However, the word Senafich is most commonly to refer to the spicy sauce made from Ethiopian mustard seeds. Senafich sauce has a more watery consistency than the typical western style mustard sauce, which makes it great to use as a dipping sauce.

  • ethiopian hummus recipe

    Elibet (Ethiopian Hummus) Recipe

    Cooks in 70 minutesDifficulty: Intermediate

    Ethiopian Hummus is quite a tasty and appetizing paste that can be served along with any Ethiopian dish. It is mainly made from made from Fava Beans and Sunflower seeds, both of which come with several health benefits. Here is a simple recipe that you can follow to make Ethiopian Hummus at home.

  • flaxseed dipping sauce recipe

    Telba (Flaxseed) Dipping Sauce Recipe

    Cooks in 70 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    One of the recipes for Ethiopian flaxseeds is this dipping sauce. It can be served as a breakfast item or a snack along with Injera or bread. Here is a simple recipe that you can follow to make Flaxseeds Dipping Sauce at home.

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Sara Seife
Sara Seife

Sara is a blogger, nutritionist, and recipe engineer who loves to create and share Ethiopian food recipes and guides. She is the Chief Editor of The Ethiopian Food, an online platform that aims to help people all over the world learn about and enjoy Ethiopian cuisine. Sara is passionate about sharing her love of Ethiopian food and culture with others, and she hopes that her recipes and guides will help people to create delicious and authentic Ethiopian meals at home.

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