Monday, April 18, 2011

Niter Kibbeh, the cornerstone of Ethiopian Cuisine

In order to make some of my beloved Ethipian dishes, I first had to make this food love elixir, niter kibbeh.  As far as I am concerned this is the corner stone of many amazing Ethiopian dishes.  Since I am on a total Ethiopian food kick, I had to make it.  A few other things that I have to make too, which I will share as the next couple weeks roll on.  

Niter Kibbeh
Inspired by this post at Serious Eats

1 pound of butter
2 3 inch cinnamon sticks
2 cloves
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon fenugreek ( I used to no like this- I am slowly acquiring a taste for it)
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
8 green cardamon pods
6 cloves garlic
1 small onion, minced
1 inch piece of ginger

In a saucepan, slowly melt butter.  Add in 2 whole cloves, bay leaves, garlic, onion, ginger and cinnamon. While that is going, in a frying pan toast coriander, fenugreek and cardamon. Once fragrant, remove from heat and add to butter mixture.  Keep this on the burner, flame very low.  You want this to be a really slow process.  After about an hour or more, the solids will turn a light golden color.  At this point it is ready.
Strain the solids through cheesecloth and strainer.  Once strained ball up the spices in the cheesecloth and give a gentle squeeze.

There you have a really powerful, flavorful start to many dishes.  Heck you could even fry an egg in this amazing liquid.  Yum!
Note:  If you decide to taste some of the used spices after the draining, you will find they are a bit bitter.


Heather said...

You NEED niter kibbeh to make great Ethiopian food, for sure!! Love it. :)

The Cooking Photographer said...

Lori I've never made Kibbeh, but I'm printing this for later. I'd like to make Ethiopian at home.


Anonymous said...

Mmm, love making this, but with coconut oil instead of butter. Use it to cook anything and it instantly tastes like an Ethiopian feast! )

kat said...

Oh, I bet that is just the most flavorful start to a dish!

Robin Sue said...

I do not know much about Ethiopian cuisine so I look forward to seeing more. We have some good Ethiopian restaurants in the area but I would not even know what to order. Any suggestions for a first timer?

Lori said...

Robin Sue-A lot of people like Doro Wat, which is a chicken stew type dish. I love any of the lentil dishes. Have not had a bad vegetable dish yet.