berbere - Ethiopian blend

If you love hot food, then an Ethiopian Berbere spice mix is a must for your next dish. This spice mix will last a long time because a pinch of this hot spice is all you will need for each dish. Traditionally, the dish is used to spice lentils and beans. You can also use it to spice your chicken and lamb dishes. Just saute the spice mix with oil in a pan for a few minutes before adding it to your recipe. This will help to bring out the various flavours of the spice mix. The classic use for Berbere is in (stews). Make Yemeser Wat by cooking lentils with some Berbere. Try sprinkling Berbere on french fries Or make spicy ketchup using Berbere, Do a Berbere stir fry using assorted vegetables or tofu
Berbere will also work well in any recipe that calls for Garam masala because Berbere and Garam masala have several ingredients in common.

Berbere Crusted Rack of Lamb


Shopping List

  • 2 racks of lamb 500 grams each
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed

For Berbere Paste

  • 1 tablespoon Berbere spice blend
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons beaten egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup fresh fine bread crumbs –made from day old bread
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons dry red wine

For sauce

  • 2 tablespoons Berbere spice blend
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 1 tablespoon dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Marinate lamb:
    Combine lamb, oil, rosemary, and garlic in a large sealable heavy-duty plastic bag. Seal bag, forcing out excess air, and marinate lamb, chilled, turning bag several times, 8 to 24 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Make paste and roast lamb:
    Stir together berbere, mustard, yolk, and bread crumbs, then stir in enough red wine to form a paste.
  • Drain lamb, discarding marinade. Heat a dry 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until hot, then brown lamb, 1 rack at a time, over moderately high heat, about 3 minutes per side (do not brown ends). Transfer, ribs side down, as browned to a large roasting pan.
  • Smear berbere paste on fat sides of lamb and roast in middle of oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted 2 inches into center of a rack (without touching bone) registers 140°F for medium-rare, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Make sauce while lamb is roasting:
    Toast berbere in a dry small heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Add stock and wine and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in butter until incorporated.
  • Transfer lamb to a cutting board and let stand 5 minutes. Cut lamb into chops and serve with sauce.

Yellow Lentil Stew with Berbere

Shopping List

500 grams Yellow Lentils
2 Cups Vegetable Stock
2 ½ cups water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium Onions - chopped finely

2 medium Potato, diced with peel
5 medium carrots – sliced

1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon Berbere Spice blend, (add more to taste)
1 clove garlic - crushed

Salt and Pepper to taste


  • Heat oil in heavy pan, add garlic cook for 1 min
  • Add Berbere spice blend and cook for 2 mins
  • Add rest of ingredients to saucepan. Stir together and bring to a boil.
  • Decrease heat to low, cover the pot and cook at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally

Serve hot with a side salad or whole grain bread

Yemiser W'et (spicy lentil soup)

Shopping List

1 cup Dried brown lentils
1  Onion; finely chopped
2 Cloves garlic; minced
¼ cup butter
1 teaspoon  Berbere  spice blend
1 teaspoon Cumin seeds; ground
1 teaspoon  sweet Paprika
2 cup Tomato; finely chopped
½ c Tomato paste
1 cup Vegetable stock or water
1 cup Green peas; fresh or frozen
Salt & pepper to taste


  • Rinse and cook the lentils in water
  • Sauté the onions and garlic in the butter, until the onions are just translucent.
  • Add the berbere, cumin, and paprika and sauté for a few minutes more, stirring
  • Mix in the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and Add 1 cup of vegetable stock or water and continue simmering.
  • When the lentils are cooked, drain them and mix them into the sauté.
  • Add the green peas and cook for another 5 minutes.
  •  Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Baharat    (Also Known as Arabian 7 Spice Blend):is traditionally  a North African spice mix used in Lebanon, Syria, Israel, and Jordan, Baharat simply means "spice" in Arabic. This blend is often used to season lamb but is an all-purpose flavour enhancer useful for fish, chicken, beef, tomato sauces and soups. It’s a great addition to lentil dishes, pilaffs and can even perk up plain old meatloaf. We find it useful as a rub for virtually anything on the barbeque. A traditional baharat mixture is used similarly to the way Indians use garam masala and may be used as a final flavour booster after a meal has been prepared. It is also commonly added to the pan with a little butter to disperse flavours before frying.


Iraqi Tabid Recipe

Tabid is a slow-cooked casserole from Israel’s Iraqi community.

This filling dish is made with chicken, rice and Middle Eastern spices.
Shopping List:
1 whole chicken, cleaned, with skin
1 teaspoon baharat spice
1 chopped onion
2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 chopped tomatoes (optional)
2-3 cups rice
2 tablespoons chicken stock powder
4 hard boiled eggs, with shells
Shopping List for stuffing:
½ cup rice (rinsed)
500 grams boneless chicken fillet - cut into small cubes
1 or 2 tomatoes cut into small cubes (peeling optional)
¾ teaspoon baharat spice
1 level tablespoon chicken stock powder

  1. Mix ingredients for the stuffing, place into chicken and sew the chicken shut using thread or secure shut using toothpicks.
  2. In a large, heavy pot, cook the chopped onion in some olive oil for 1 minute on medium flame. Stir in the tomato paste, baharat spice, tomatoes if using them, and chicken soup mix. Mix in 2 cups water.
  3. Place the stuffed chicken in the pot and add enough water to cover ¾ of the chicken. Cook on medium flame for half an hour. Turn the chicken over and cook for another 15 minutes.
  4. Put the rice around the chicken and cook until the water is fully absorbed (approximately 15-20 minutes, depending on the rice you choose to use).
  5. Preheat the oven to 220°F/100°C.
  6. Nestle the eggs on top of the rice. Cover the pot and place in oven to cook overnight until ready to eat. Check in the morning to make sure the eggs, rice and chicken are browned. Turn up the oven temperature slightly if you want the casserole to be more “well done”

Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Baharat Spices
Shopping List:
1 Kilo skinless, boneless chicken breasts, trimmed of any fat and cut into cubes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 small onion, grated
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom seeds (from about 20 pods)
1 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin seeds, optional
1 teaspoon Baharat spice mix
1/2 teaspoon paprika
10 (10-inch) wooden or metal skewers


Marinate the chicken cubes in a glass or ceramic bowl or pan with the olive oil, lemon juice, onion, cinnamon, cardamom, thyme, salt, pepper, cumin, if using, Baharat, and paprika for 6 hours, covered, in the refrigerator, turning the cubes occasionally.

Preheat a gas grill for 15 minutes on high or prepare a hot charcoal fire. Skewer the chicken cubes so they touch each other but do not press against each other. If possible, use a skewer rack so the chicken grills without touching the grilling grate. Grill until golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes, turning frequently. Serve hot.


Lamb Kofte with garlic yogurt sauce and baharat spices

Shopping List:

For sauce
1 cup plain yogurt (preferably whole-milk)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
For köfte
2 slices firm white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
500 grams ground lamb
1 small red onion, minced or grated
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon baharat spice mix
1 1/2 teaspoons Maras pepper flakes*
1 1/2 teaspoons Urfa pepper flakes*
2 teaspoons salt

16 Wooden Skewers


Make sauce: Stir yogurt with garlic and salt to taste.

Make köfte: Cover bread with water in a bowl and soak 30 minutes, then squeeze bread to remove as much moisture as possible.

Prepare grill while bread soaks.

Transfer squeezed bread to a large bowl and add remaining köfte ingredients, then mix well with your hands until thoroughly blended. Divide lamb mixture into 16 portions and form each into a ball. Roll each ball into a 7- to 8-inch-long "cigar," rolling first between your hands and then on a work surface (be sure the köfte are thin enough for even cooking). Slide a skewer lengthwise through centre of each köfte.

Grill on oiled grill rack, turning over once, until golden and just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve with yoghurt sauce  Serves 4-6 persons.




Ras El Hanout is a Moroccan spice blend that can contain more than 30 ingredients. 

Our favourite way to use Ras El Hanout is as a dry rub on lamb chops grilled on the BBQ.


Moroccan Lamb Pizza with Ras El Hanout


Shopping List:

2/3 cup low fat natural yoghurt

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tbs chopped mint

180g lamb back strap - roughly chopped

1 1/2 tsp Ras el Hanout spice blend

1 large garlic clove - chopped

1/2 red onion -  chopped

1 pizza base  (i use lebanese bread)

1 tbls pine nuts

8 cherry tomatoes halved

1 tbs coriander chopped



Combine the yoghurt, 2 teaspoons lemon juice and mint in a bowl -  Season with salt - chill until required

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees

Place the chopped lamb, ras el hanout, garlic, red onion, sea salt and freshly ground pepper into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is coarsely minced.

Place tghe pizza base on a baking tray. Scatter wit the lamb miture, pine nuts and tomatoes.

Place in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes until lamb i s cooked through and tomatoes have softened.

Remove from oven, scatter with the chopped coriander and remaining lemon juise.

Serve with the mint yoghurt your prepared earlier.


Lamb with Ras el Hanout and Shredded Cabbage - Slow Cooker Recipe
Shopping List

1 lamb shoulder
1 head red cabbage, shredded
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs Ras el Hanout
1 bunch Silver Beet, shredded
1 head garlic, peeled
1 tin Chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup red wine (Optional)
1-2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp sea salt

Put shredded cabbage, chopped tomatoes, chard, dates, apricots, vinegar, stock, red wine, garlic and salt in Slow cooker and turn on.
In a frypan, sauté the onion until translucent in 1 tbs olive oil. Add the Ras el Hanout and sauté until soft. Add to slow cooker and mix ingredients.
In the same skillet, on medium high heat, add 1 tbs olive oil and brown lamb shoulder on all sides. Nestle lamb into the vegetable mixture in the slow cooker and cover. Cook overnight or throughout the day until the lamb meat falls off of the bones. Remove meat from the slow cooker and de-bone or trim any extra fat. Place lamb pieces back in the slow cooker and keep hot until serving.  Serve with Rice or Roasted Potatoes.


Moroccan Ras el Hanout couscous with roasted vegetables

Shopping List

1 small eggplant - cubed

Dash balsamic vinegar

Black pepper to taste

200 gram couscous

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon ras el hanout spice blend

1 red onion – chopped

1 red capsicum - seeded and chopped

1 yellow capsicum – seeded and chopped

2 ripe tomatoes – quartered

200 ml vegetable stock or water

Salt to taste



Preheat oven to 200 c

Place chopped peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and onion in a roasting tin   

Crush garlic and mix with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper

Pour the oil mix over the vegetables and toss until they are well coasted

Place in oven and roast vegetables until golden – 30 to 40 mins

While vegetables are roasting, make up the couscous per packet instructions,

adding ras el hanout spice blend to the liquid – water or stock

When the vegetables are ready, mix with the cous cous and serve hot.



Chicken Tagine with Ras el Hanout

Shopping List:

4 chicken thighs with bones

2 chicken breast fillets

2 tablespoons Ras el Hanout spice blend

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 small onions – quartered

4 cloves of garlic – peeled and halved

½ cup chicken stock or water

2 small carrots – sliced

1 cup fozen peas

12 button mushrooms- halved

Pinch salt to taste


Dust chicken with Ras el hanout spice blend

Heat oil in heavy frying pan, add chicken & cook till browned all over

Add onion, garlic & ¼ cup stock or water, reduce heat to low. Cover for 15 mins.

Add salt and carrots; continue to cook very slowly until carrots are almost tender

Stir in other vegetables; add enough stock or water to cover chicken, increase heat to boiling,

 then reduce heat to simmer until mushrooms and peas are cooked, about 10 mins.






250 grams plain yoghurt

4 springs mint - diced

1/2 clove garlic - minced

Juice of 1/2  lemon

salt and pepper to taste



Mix all ingredients in bowl and refrigerate till required.