This is a berbere paste mix. You can make this into a dry berbere spice mix by using only dry ingredients. The paste should be kept in a cool place, the spice mix in a dark place. Either way, it will last a year or so. This recipe makes about 1 cup.
Keyword: chiles, spice mix
Author: Hank Shaw
2large shallots, minced
3tablespoonsvegetable oil,such as peanut
2tablespoonsgrated fresh ginger
Water (see below)
Toast all the whole spices in a dry pan over medium heat until they are fragrant. Set them aside.
In the same pan, heat the oil and sweat the shallots and garlic over medium heat. Do not let them color. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Grind your whole spices in a spice grinder, then mix them with the powdered spices. In a mortar and pestle, add the shallot-garlic mixture and add the ginger. Pound it well for a minute or two. Start adding the spice mixture, pounding and mixing all the way, until you have a clay-like, brick red mix. You now have berbere in its most preservable form.
In the fridge, I've kept this for a year with nothing noticeable happening to it. But, this is tough to use. So if you want to use your berbere now, start adding some water, a tablespoon at a time, to thin it out to the consistency you want.
If you don't want to make berbere the old-fashioned way, you can put the wet ingredients in a food processor, add the spices and then drizzle in water or oil as you buzz it on low. Remember this stuff is ferocious. A little goes a long way.