I’ve waxed poetic about berbere, a complex Ethiopian seasoning, on several occasions. This fragrant, robust mixture of spices is almost like the love child of chili powder and curry powder, with a unique African flair. It’s so distinctive and inimitable that even I will say that there’s truly no substitute for it. It’s completely worth any extra effort it may take to seek it out, and once you get some, you’ll have no trouble finding myriad uses for it. (That is, if you can stop yourself from making batch after batch of misir watt!)
This delightful dip is a great example of the versatility of berbere. Hummus is, simply put, my favorite food in the world. Period, no contest, hands down, without a doubt, no bones about it. Whether it’s traditional, exotically spiced, deconstructed, made with different beans, or even raw, I can never say no to hummus. Someday, when I write a cookbook (!), I am determined to have an entire chapter of hummus recipes. Oh yes! And you can bet this berbere-laced beauty will be among them.
Per serving: 100 calories, 4.3g fat (1g sat), 13.4g carbs, 3g fiber, 3g protein
- 1¾ cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 can, rinsed and drained)
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 Tbsp peanut oil
- 1 Tbsp grapeseed, safflower, or olive oil
- 2 Tbsp berbere powder
- 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- Pinch of mekelesha (or 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper)
- Up to 2/3 cup water
- Combine all ingredients except water in a food processor or high-speed blender.
- Add about 1/3 cup water and blend. Add more water, a tablespoon at a time (up to about 1/3 cup more), and continue blending until desired consistency is reached. (I always make my hummus a little loose, because as it chills, it thickens up a bit.)
- Transfer to a small container and chill for at least an hour, then serve with crackers, pita bread, or (if you’re really cool) injera!
African influences collide with Middle Eastern tradition in this smooth and spicy snack! The creamy chickpeas provide a mild base on which to showcase the assertive flavors of berbere and peanut oil, while lime, cardamom, ginger, and garlic form an intriguing backup chorus. This is fusion food at its finest!