Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ethiopian Recipes: Niter Kibbeh

So basically, niter kibbeh is a clarified butter, similar to ghee (Indian cuisine) and highly spiced. You pretty much chunk it into anything and it makes it taste better! I've even used it as a bread spread and in bread as an oil substitute.

Mina made mine for me with all kinds of super yummy stuff, but she also told me how to make it myself with spices I can find in a normal, American grocery store. I'll give you that version :) Mina says use unsalted butter, but I'm a sucker for salt, so I just use the regular salted stuff. Your choice!

First you melt down your butter in a heavy saucepan. Do not burn it. Word to the wise. Cook it for a bit and you'll start to see the fizzy-fuzz of cooking butter (scientific term, of course) cook away. Eventually you're left with a clear, oily liquid-- this is clarified butter, in case you ever wondered. Now add your spices. Mina suggests the following:

salt (unless you're like me and just went ahead with the salted butter to begin with)

Now turn off the heat and just let it sit a bit on the hot burner. Do not let it burn. Again, word to the wise. Remove from heat, pour into whatever you're going to store it in. I suggest some sort of heavy glass container. Mina put mine into a canning jar. If you're feeling all professional and adventurous, you can strain it through a cheesecloth. I am lazy and simply let mine settle out before I used it.

If you have an international grocery store near you, look for these spices as well:

Black or White Azmud

The Azmud will need to be ground before adding to your butter. We used our electric coffee grinder. (and then wiped it out reeeeal good ;) )

Next time: Alicha Wat

(I think that's right. Alicha means "white", or "not the hot spicy red wat", but I also have "doro wat" written down in my notes. I think that doro wat is what it becomes when you add chicken or eggs to the dish.)


Denise said...

I never have made spiced niter kebbeh! This is so fun, I am really loving these posts! Also, you stumped me with TWO spices I've neeeeever heard of (azmud or koseret).

Dawn Farias said...

You had me at "butter".

Life with Kaishon said...

It sounds interesting. Spicy things don't usually float my boat! I love that you are so creative and fearless in trying new things : ).

Samson said...

Check by "Ethiopian Athentic Cuisine" for authentic ethiopian niter kibbeh and other spices such as berbere. The kibbeh is already spiced with koseret. I have tried it and I love it.