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Berbere is the primary spice mix in Ethiopian cuisine, in which its spicy heat is balanced by buttery niter kibbeh and sour injera.

There is no "right" berbere recipe, just as there is no best recipe for the spicy trademark flavors of other cultures, such as salsa or marinara sauce. Here is what my family does.

Toast the following five ground spice seeds.

Then add:

Mix well and store in a spice bottle.

Commentary: Use the spiciest chili flakes that will make your taste buds happy. My wife makes her own chili flakes using chile pequeños and other very hot chilis.