Top 11 Spices as Berbere Spice Substitute

Berbere spice is a key ingredient in many Ethiopian and Eritrean dishes. It’s also gaining popularity in Western cuisine as more people are exposed to the vibrant flavors of these African cuisines.

If you can’t find berbere spice at your local grocery store, don’t worry! Here’re a few ideas to use as Berbere Spice substitutes.

However, you can use Homemade berbere spice recipe, Garam Masala, Ras el hanout, Tsire Powder, Baharat, Mitmita, Piri Piri, Tandoori masala, Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, Curry Powder, Cayenne pepper etc. instead of berbere spice.

best berbere spice substitute in details

1. homemade berbere spice recipe

Ingredeants for berbere spice:

To make your own berbere spice blend, start by mixing together equal parts chili pepper flakes, ginger powder, and garlic powder.

Then add in 1/2 teaspoon each of fenugreek seeds, cardamom pods, allspice berries, and cloves. If you want your berbere spice to be spicier, add in additional chili pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to taste.

Once you’ve combined all of the ingredients, grind them into a fine powder using a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle.

Preserve the spice blend in an airtight container until you’re ready to use it. Add it to stewed meats or vegetables for a flavor boost.

2. Try Garam Masala to replace berbere spice

If you’re looking for a substitute for berbere spice, garam masala is a good option. Like berbere, it is a blend of spices, including cardamom, cloves, cumin, black pepper, and coriander.

However, garam masala is typically lighter on chili peppers, which makes it less spicy than berbere.

Additionally, the flavor of garam masala is more complex and nuanced than berbere spice.

you can use garam masala as a good berbere spice substitute

It can be applied to add flavor to both meat and vegetable dishes. When substituting garam masala for berbere spice, use a 1:1 ratio.

So if you’re searching for a replacement that will add depth and flavor to your dish without being too spicy, garam masala is a good option.

Read more: Star anise substitute

3. Ras el hanout – a good substitute for berbere spice

Ras el hanout is a Moroccan spice blend that typically includes a mix of cumin, chili powder, paprika, ginger, and cardamom.

It can apply as a rub for meats or add to stews and soups.

If you’re looking for a substitution for Berbere spice, Ras el hanout makes a good alternative. The flavors are similar, but the Ras el hanout will add a bit more heat to your dish.

Just ensure to modify the quantity you use according to your personal preferences.

4. Why not try Tsire Powder to replace berbere spice!

If you’re out of Berbere Spice and need a substitute in a recipe, look no further than Tsire Powder.

Tsire Powder is a blend of chili peppers, ginger, garlic, and other spices that gives it a similar heat and flavor profile to Berbere Spice.

While it can be used as a 1:1 substitute in most recipes, you may want to adjust the quantity you use to suit your personal preferences.

So, If you’re looking for a little extra flavor, try adding a dash of Tsire Powder to your next dish. You’ll ensure to impress your diners with your culinary skills.

5. You can use Baharat instead of berbere spice

If you’re looking for a substitute for berbere spice, baharat is a great option. This spice blend is common in Middle Eastern and North African cuisine, and it delivers a similar flavor profile to berbere.

Baharat typically includes spices like black pepper, cardamom, cloves, cumin, nutmeg, and paprika, which all work together to create a complex and vibrant flavor.

While the exact components can vary depending on the region or cook, baharat is generally a bit milder than berbere spice.

So if you’re searching for something with a little less heat, baharat is a good choice. Remember that a little goes a long path with this spice blend, so start with just a pinch and add more to taste.

6. Why not try Mitmita to replace berbere spice!

One popular substitute is mitmita, a spice mix that shares many of the same ingredients as berbere. While it may not be an accurate replica, mitmita can still provide the same flavor profile in dishes.

As a result, it is an excellent replacement for those who are unable to find berbere.

Compared to Berbere Spice, Mitmita has a brighter, more citrusy flavor. It is also much hotter, which can be a great way to add a little extra depth to a dish.

I have seen that it works well in both savory and sweet dishes. In savory dishes, I use it to add heat and depth of flavor.

In sweet dishes, I use it to add a bright, citrusy flavor. Either way, Mitmita is a great way to add some extra flavor to your dishes.

7. Piri Piri – an ideal substitute for berbere spice

When I was introduced to Pirispice, I immediately knew that it would be a great substitute for berbere spice. Piri piri has a similar flavor profile to berbere, but it is also very versatile.

I have found that Piri piri is an ideal way to add a little heat to any dish without overwhelming the other flavors.

It can be applied with other spices to create unique flavor combinations. In addition, Piri piri is relatively mild, so it will not overpower other ingredients in a dish.

If you’re searching for a new spice to add to your repertoire, I highly recommend giving piri a try.

8. Use Tandoori masala to replace berbere spice

If you’re searching for a delicious method to spice up your next meal, try substituting Tandoori masala for Berbere spice. Tandoori masala is a traditional Indian spice blend that is perfect for grilled meats and vegetables. 

It’s made with a variety of spices, including cumin, coriander, cloves, and red chili pepper. The result is a flavorful, fragrant spice blend that adds a touch of heat to any dish.

If you’re looking for an authentic Indian flavor, Tandoori masala is the perfect substitution for Berbere spice.

 Try it the next time you’re in the mood for something new!

9. I use Jamaican Jerk Seasoning in place of berbere spice

If you’re searching for a new spice to add to your collection, Jamaican jerk seasoning is a great option.

Jerk seasoning is traditionally made with a combination of allspice, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, pepper, and thyme.

However, it can also be made with various other spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom, or cumin.

Additionally, berbere spice is typically hotter than Jamaican jerk seasoning.

The key to preparing a good jerk seasoning is to roast the spices before grinding them into a powder. This step gives the spices a deep, rich flavor that is perfect for seasoning meats or vegetables.

If you’re looking for an alternative to berbere spice, Jamaican jerk seasoning is a great option.

10. Use Curry Powder to replace berbere spice

If you’re looking for a substitute for berbere spice, curry powder is a good option. It has a similar flavor profile, with earthy, warm spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric. 

However, it also has a touch of sweetness from the addition of ginger. 

However, curry powder is a bit milder than berbere spice, so you may want to use a bit more than the recipe calls for.

Additionally, keep in mind that curry powder will change the color of your dish, so it’s best to utilize it in recipes where that won’t be an issue.

Ultimately, whether or not you use curry powder as a substitute for berbere spice is up to you and your personal preferences. Experiment until you discover the ideal combination for your taste buds!

When substituting curry powder for berbere spice, start with a small amount and add more to taste. You may also want to apply other spices to create a more complex flavor profile.

For example, ginger or garam masala would complement the flavors in curry powder nicely. So if you’re in a pinch, don’t hesitate to reach for the curry powder next time you’re looking for a berbere spice substitute.

11. Cayenne pepper – a great alternative for berbere spice

If you’re out of Berbere spice and need a quick substitute, Cayenne pepper is a good option. Berbere is a blend of chili peppers, ginger, cloves, and other spices, so Cayenne pepper will add some heat to your dish.

Just be cautious not to apply too much, as Cayenne pepper is significantly hotter than most other chili peppers. 

cayenne pepper is a great berbere spice alternative

If you want to add some of the other flavors found in Berbere spice, try adding ginger, cloves, and cumin.

This combination will give your dish a similar flavor profile without being quite as spicy. As always, taste as you go and adjust the seasoning until it’s just right.

With a little invention, you can easily make a delicious dish even if you don’t have all the ingredients.

FAQ’s on berbere spice substitute

Q1. Is Bharat the same as 7 spices?

No, baharat is not the same as 7 spices. While they both typically contain a blend of aromatic spices, the specific ingredients in each mix can vary greatly.

Baharat is basically a Middle Eastern spice mixture that often includes cloves, cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In contrast, 7 spices typically contain a combination of seven different spices black pepper, paprika, cumin, coriander, cloves, and ginger.

Q2. What is the Best ras el hanout brand on the market?

Some of the more popular brands include Drogheria & Alimentari, El Yucateco, and Schwartz.

Whichever brand you choose, make sure to read the labels carefully to ensure that you are getting a high-quality product.

Q3. How spicy is garam masala?

Garam masala is a blend of spices utilized in many Indian dishes. The word “garam” means “hot” in Hindi, and this spice mixture is indeed quite spicy. Nevertheless, the heat level can vary depending on the recipe.

Some garam masala blends may contain more chili powder or black pepper, while others may include less-spicy spices like cinnamon or cardamom. Overall, though, garam masala is a fairly spicy spice mix that can add a lot of flavor to your cooking.

Q4. Does garam masala contain onion and garlic?


Q5. What is Mitmita sauce?

Mitmita sauce is a type of Ethiopian chili pepper paste. It is made with ground chili peppers, spices, and often garlic.

The paste is used as a condiment, marinade, or ingredient in various dishes. It can also be used to make a spice blend known as mitmita powder.

Q6. Is jerk sauce spicy?

Yes, Jerk sauce is very spicy as it contains Scotch bonnet pepper whichScoville heat score scale is between 100,000–350,000 SHU.

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