Ethiopian Berbere instantly recreates the hyper-delicious and craveable flavor of traditional Ethiopian stews. It’s hot and peppery from the birds eye chilies and peppercorns. The heat is balanced by aromatic spices of clove, cardamom, allspice, ginger and nutmeg. Fenugreek and ajwain add an exotic complexity to the blend. The combination of heat and aromatic spices makes berbere a perfect spice for a meat or fish rub, as a flavoring in winter squash or sweet potato dishes or as a flavoring in any stew. This is a hot spice blend which can be used judiciously or with recklessness, depending on your mood. ~
For the true, true stories behind this incredible foodstuff, read on.
I love intense flavor. I grew up eating mostly bland home-cooked food (my mother was terrified of salt, fat and spiciness), and I lived for the times we’d go out for Chinese food, or Indian, or Thai. My palate came to crave bold intense complexity, and when I moved to Boston and then NYC, I’d eat out almost nightly, every night partaking of a different umami-rich region of the world. I got to know the nuances of Korean, Japanese, Malaysian, Singaporian, Burmese, Indonesian, Northern vs Southern Thai, Northern vs Southern Indian, Shanghainese, Szechwan, Jamaican, Oaxacan.
And then things started to change. I became increasingly aware of the bad stuff that was in my food — the same food that tasted so amazing. Pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, vegetable oils. And I learned about the nutritional benefits you get from organic produce, from pastured meat and eggs. So I started to make my own food from ingredients that fed my body as well as my tastebuds.
The problem was time. I love to cook, but like most people in this crazy modern world, I barely have time to keep up with my daily flood of email, let alone plan meals, shop, cook and clean. So I started to come up with shortcuts, ways to create meals that were super-quick, and tasty enough to keep me interested.
When I discovered these amazing spice blends, hand-crafted by the alchemists at the Teeny Tiny Spice Co., my home cooking took a huge leap forward. These little tins contain pure magic. Whether you’re wobbly or well-trained in the kitchen, they will forever transform the way you cook. Teeny Tiny has done all the work for you, harmonizing symphonies of spices in perfect proportions, the way your grandmother would instinctively do it if she were Indian or Mexican or Jamaican, (and only used the highest quality organic spices.) They’ve even added the right amount of salt, so all you have to all is one or two spoonfuls, and you’ve created a masterpiece. These blends will rescue you from home-cooking monotony forever. They are absolutely indispensable for the primal eater who eats meat and veggies constantly, and craves variety and extreme deliciousness. These spice blends cover a broad array of world cuisines and cooking styles — they’re all distinct, and all amazing.
And they are so easy to use. Here’s what you do: for every pound of meat, add 2-3 tbsp of any Teeny Tiny Spice blend. The fastest way to do this is knead it into ground meat and fry. In minutes, you’ve got your very own umami burgers, full of amazing flavor, sausage-like in their juicy mouthwatering flavor intensity. Saute up some greens in the same pan with some ghee or coconut oil, add a few spoonfuls of spice blend, and you’ve got an awesome meal within minutes.
And of course, spices are incredibly high in antioxidants, and they’ve all got special medicinal/healing properties. From turmeric to cinnamon, chiles to ginger, spices are not only stimulating to the palate, they’re healing to the body. So how do you decide which Teeny Tiny spice blend to use? Go with what you’re craving right now, and it’s probably what your body needs most.
Ethiopian Berbere, Flavor of East Africa
Ethiopian Berbere is a hot and flavorful mix of more than a dozen ingredients. It instantly recreates the hyper-delicious and craveable flavor of traditional Ethiopian stews. It can be used as a dry or wet rub on roasted meats or veggies. Add it to stews and sauces for a bold and full flavor profile. Subtly-flavored dishes will be transformed into a true delight. This is a hot spice which can be used judiciously or with recklessness depending on your mood.
Ethiopian Berbere is traditionally used to spice hot stews. As with many ethnic spice blends, each Ethiopian Berbere blend will be different. This blend is hot and peppery from the birds eye chilies and peppercorns. The heat is balanced by aromatic spices of clove, cardamom, allspice, ginger and nutmeg. Fenugreek and ajwain add an exotic complexity to the blend. The combination of heat and aromatic spices makes berbere a perfect spice for a meat or fish rub, as a flavoring in winter squash or sweet potato dishes or as a flavoring in any stew. It is also a summertime favorite for an outdoor barbeque. It is quite versatile and fun to experiment with.
How to eat this
It’s impossible to mess up when you’re cooking with these spice blends. The only thing you need to know is a simple rule of thumb: 2-3 tablespoons of spice blend for every pound of meat. You won’t need any extra salt, although you may want to add a dash of vinegar or citrus if your palate craves it. Always start with less spice blend and add more until it tastes perfect to you. I love spices so much that I’ll generally want 3 tbsp/pound, sometimes even more.
Instant umami burgers
One of the easiest ways to play with Teeny Tiny spice blends is to add them to ground meats, whether it be meatballs, sauce with ground meat, tacos or burgers. You can use ground beef, bison, chicken, turkey, pork or lamb. Always get pastured, 100% grass-fed-and-finished when possible. And local is best — you can get amazing deals on highest quality meats by getting to know your local farmer.
Knead 2-3 tbsp per pound into ground meat. For extra flavor, dust a bit more on the outside of the burger. Fry. In minutes, you’ve got your very own umami burgers, full of amazing flavor, sausage-like in their juicy mouthwatering flavor intensity. Saute up some greens in the same pan with some ghee or coconut oil, add a few spoonfuls of spice blend, and you’ve got an awesome meal within minutes. For bonus points, fry up an egg and put it on top.
This makes a great base for an amazing stew. If you want to recreate a traditional Ethiopian stew in minutes, sauté up a mess of onions in a lot of ghee, add chopped garlic, pour some chicken stock and Berbere spice mix (2 tbsp per pound of chicken) into the mix, and simmer covered with drumsticks or thighs until the meat is tender. Squirt some lime in at the end if you want to liven this up even more!
You can use this in any stew recipe — it’ll add depth of flavor and spiciness and exotic goodness to any stew you stew up.
This stuff makes a great dry rub prior to grilling, pan frying, roasting or broiling. For more intense taste, let it sit for many hours, or even overnight. But don’t let it sit for very long on tender cuts of meat like filet mignon or tenderloin — it will make them tougher.
This stuff is amazing in a braise — just add some meat (I love shoulders, short ribs, lamb shanks, brisket), some Teeny Tiny spice (2-3 tbst per pound of meat), the liquid of your choice (stock, apple juice, red wine, dark beer, coffee, and orange juice are all amazing, but not all at the same time! Try stock with one of the above, at a 1:1 ratio), some chopped up veggies, a jot of coconut oil, and cook it covered at a low temp (250 is good, higher if you have less time) until everything is tender and nice.
About Teeny Tiny Spice Co., in their own words
We are so excited to share these wonderful spice blends that bring the flavors of the world into your kitchen.
Welcome to Teeny Tiny Spice Co. where we hand blend and package the cleanest, most flavorful spice blends, individual spices and herbs available. Our seasonings cover a broad array of world cuisines, cooking styles from curries to barbeque to dessert. All of our products are Certified Organic, Certified Kosher, gluten free, preservative free, anti-caking free .... they are just pure food. Nothing is hidden — with all ingredients listed on every package so that you know exactly what you are putting in your body. We use the highest quality ingredients to give you great flavor including Himalayan Pink Salt, Vermont Maple Sugar, Speeder and Earl's coffee, and Saigon Cinnamon.
Our spice blends make it easy and quick to cook delicious dishes of complex flavor using simple ingredients. Every tin of spice has a recipe on top. Your regular recipes are easily adapted by substituting an equal amount of Teeny Tiny Spice blend for the spice, herb and salt in your recipe. Our spices make new cooks look great and accomplished cooks look even better!
Our spice blends have a very long shelf life. We freshly grind and then package each batch to seal in the freshness. Air and sunlight are the two main elements that affect the shelf life of spices. For this reason, we package our spices in tins that seal out both air and sunlight. We have time-tested our blends and have found that even after one year, they still have rich flavor. You would notice a slight difference between a one year old tin and a freshly ground tin if you held them next to each other, of course, as flavor and color will diminish with time. Our individual tins are metal screw-top containers that can be recycled or reused in so many ways.