The Berbere spice mix originates in East Africa and is a key ingredient in the cuisines of Ethiopia and Eritrea.
In Ethiopia’s history, the Axumite kingdom controlled trade along the Red Sea route. They would send merchant ships to India in summer and back again during wintertime with goods from their journeys around the Indian Ocean; these were journeys that took them past Africa's east coast on their way out into open water before they could reach Asia
The Axumites had a profound impact not only on establishing new routes of international commerce but also on influencing trade patterns by challenging traditional trading networks. The Ethiopian sailors who manned these vessels became part of a larger maritime world-system: one where people travelled far distances across continents or oceans carrying cargoes between cultures as well as commodities such as gold, ivory, spices, raw silk and other treasures.
The spices brought with them an intensity of flavour unknown to most people and became a symbol of wealth because only those who could afford these luxuries would have had access to such flavoursome treasures. In order to preserve some measure of exclusivity as well as retain their unique taste profiles, households experimented and developed their own mix-perfecting intensely private concoctions passed down from one generation's head cook or housewife caretaker -resulting in regional spice blends which differed drastically depending on region, household and by household preferences.
The Zing Foods Pepper Spiced Oil is a fiery mix of over twelve spices. They are roasted to release their flavours and blended with an organic coconut cooking oil that has been gently steamed, removing the strong coconut taste. This creates a neutral-tasting base for adding the spicier ingredients; creating instant flavour when you fry or roast vegetables, fish or meat, it can also be added to recipes to add flavour depth. The oils are Vegan-Friendly Certified and are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, making them perfect for the whole family.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s has written two delicious plant-based Eritrean and Ethiopian recipes using Berbere Spice Mixes which are published in The Guardian Online.
East African Feast, including berbere lentils and vegetables, cucumber, coconut and lime salsa &
Roast Berbere Vegetables and Chickpeas
It would be easy and (less time consuming) to use the Zing Foods Pepper Spiced coconut cooking oil in the recipes, swapping out the Bereber Spice mix and olive oil ingredients and replacing with two tablespoons of the Zing Foods Pepper Spiced coconut Cooking oil.
We created our own recipe in keeping with the Berbere origins which is a BBQ Halloumi with Berbere Spiced Oil, Ethiopian Honey & Lemon ( Ethiopian food )
Copy and paste the following link for the recipes:


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