Thursday, October 14, 2010

Berbere Flavored Chili

Sometimes situations force you to discover new recipes you would have never found otherwise. 

Recently I competed in Project Foodbuzz and in one of the challenges I cooked a traditional Ethiopian meal. In order to cook a traditional Ethiopian meal an essential ingredient is their spice mix called Berbere. In my research I found that this spice mix is something they use on all different kinds of meats as a rub. So having this knowledge and a good amount leftover spice mix, I decided to use it in my chili recipe.

This idea is somewhat risky because my husband loves my chili recipe but the spice mix gave the chili another dimension of flavor that brought it to another level. So now that it's fall, this new recipe is in the rotation. Bring on the cold weather.

Chili with Berbere Spice Mix
1 1/2 lb of stew beef
2 Harvest Moon Beers
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp of Berbere Mix
 1 cup chicken broth
3 cans black beans, drained
1 onion diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz tomato paste

Sprinkle 1/4 cup Berbere over the stew beef until its coated. In a dutch oven on the stove top, fry the beef in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil until all sides have a crust and are cooked on each side.  Remove the meat and add the garlic and onion. Saute until they are soft and translucent. Pour the beer and deglaze the pan. Add the beef back in and the chicken broth. Add the 2 tbsp of the Berbere and tomato paste then bring to a boil. Reduce down to a simmer for about 2 hours. After 2 hours add in the black beans for about 15 minutes to warm the beans.  Garnish with cilantro and shredded cheese.

Berbere Spice Mix
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 cup ground dried Serrano chilies or other ground dried chilies
  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, preferably freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Combine all the ingredients. Store in an airtight container.


  1. The soup sounds wonderful and great for this time of year.

  2. ohhhh that sounds really delicious. i can see how the berbere goes with the flavors of chili--a lot of ingredients in common with ethiopian food. you should serve it with injera to sop up the dregs.

  3. The flavors in the chili are awesome!

  4. Woaaaaah! You just blew my mind with this. Chili AND Berbere AND beer???? I need to eat this, stat. :)

  5. I learn something new everyday, thanks for sharing.

  6. Great twist! Love the way you used the Project Food Buzz knowledge to build on such a classic.

  7. One of my favorite spices, and great way to let it sing!


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