Ethiopian food has slowly gained more popularity in the United States and remains one of my all-time favorite cuisines. Combining a rarefied understanding of spice blends, Ethiopian food is a magnificent melting pot of African, Indian and Arabian influences that is well worth seeking out. Ethiopians are very fond of Niter Kibbeh, which is basically clarified butter infused with herbs and spices. Everyone in Ethiopia has their own version of this recipe – this is mine and it is relentlessly authentic.
Niter kibbeh, or niter qibe (Ge’ez ንጥር ቅቤ niṭer ḳibē), also called tesmi (in Tigrinya), is a seasoned, clarified butter used in Ethiopian cuisine. Its preparation is similar to that of ghee, but niter kibbeh is simmered with spices such as koseret, fenugreek, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, or nutmeg before straining, imparting a distinct, spicy aroma. The version using vegetable oil instead of butter is called “yeqimem zeyet”.
Fear not, my Citizens – I include sources for all of these! 🙂
Feel free to modify or leave out ingredients as you see fit, just as the Ethiopians would. Use it anywhere in savory recipes you would butter and set your taste buds to DEFCON 3. 🙂 You can buy the rare Ethiopian spices at Brundo, the premier supplier of all Ethiopian cooking ingredients in the U.S.!
Battle on – The Generalissimo
The Hirshon Niter Kibbeh (Ethiopian Curried Clarified Butter)