Berbere is a spice mixture whose constituent elements usually include Roasted chili peppers, onion, black cardamon, garlic, ginger, basil, all spice, black seed, fenugreek, black pepper, rue seed, coriander, carom seed, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt. It is a key ingredient in the cuisines of Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Though it's related to caraway and cumin, carom, also called ajowan, tastes more like thyme with an astringent edge. This native of southern India can be found in Indian markets in either ground or seed form. The light brown to purple-red seeds resemble celery seeds in size and shape.
Considered one of the world's most important spices, cloves are the dried, unopened flower bud of the tropical evergreen clove tree. Reddish brown and nail-shaped, their name comes from clavus, the Latin word for nail. Cloves are sold whole or ground and can be used to flavor a multitude of dishes from sweet to savory.
A member of the lily family, garlic is a cousin to leeks, chives, onions and shallots. The edible bulb or "head" grows beneath the ground and is made up of sections called cloves. Garlic has a characteristic pungent, spicy flavor that mellows and sweetens with cooking and is widely used around the world as a seasoning or condiment.
YELLOW SPLIT PEAS
Yellow split peas, sometimes be confused with the Indian toor dal (split pigeon peas) or chana dal (desi chickpeas); while all are commonly known as peas, the latter are from other legume species. The "split" encourages faster cooking due to increasing the surface area exposed to heat. Split peas are high in protein and low in fat.
The regular brown lentils are commonly found in supermarkets whereas the red and yellow lentils, though available in some supermarkets, must usually be purchased in Middle Eastern or East Indian markets. Lentils have a fair amount of calcium and vitamins A and B, and are a good source of iron and phosphorus.
RED SPLIT LENTILS
Red split lentils are fast cooking lentils that cook down into a creamy, hearty stew. Dried red lentils are actually orange in color, and are sometimes also labeled as Egyptian lentils. Lentils have a fair amount of calcium and vitamins A and B, and are a good source of iron and phosphorus.
Black cumin, often called black-caraway or nigella, are seeds that as the name implies are black in color.
The black seeds taste like a combination of onions, black pepper and oregano. They have a pungent bitter taste and smell.
Black cardamom seed pods have a strong camphor-like flavor, with a smoky character derived from the method of drying. Black cardamom is a great choice for hearty lentil stews and can add a subtle bacony flavor.
This hardy grain dates back to the Stone Age and has been used throughout the eons in dishes ranging from cereals to breads to soups (such as the famous scotch broth). The barley flour used in our injera crisps is ground from pearl barley which has also had the bran removed and has been steamed and polished.
Whole grain Teff is a cereal grass of North Africa. It is very nutritious with a pleasant, light flavor. It is the smallest known grain in the world (about 100 grains are the size of a kernel of wheat!). A species of lovegrass native to Ethiopia and Eritrea. The germ and bran, where the nutrients are concentrated, account for a larger volume of the seed compared to other grains.
Sea salt is the type used down through the ages and is the result of the evaporation of sea water. It comes in fine-grained or large crystals.
Some gourmets believe sea salt tastes better and has a better texture than ordinary table salt. We agree, that's why we use it!
Related to the lily, this underground bulb is prized around the world for the magic it makes in a multitude of dishes with its pungent flavor and odor. There are two main classifications of onion—green onions (scallions) and dry onions, which are simply mature onions with a juicy flesh covered with dry, papery skin.
Shaped like a caraway seed, cumin is the dried fruit of a plant in the parsley family. Its aromatic nutty-flavored seeds come in three colors: amber (the most widely available), white and black (both found in Asian markets). White cumin seed is interchangeable with amber, but the black seed has a more complex, peppery flavor.
Rue seeds commonly called Harmal seeds have a bitter taste. It is not an herb that is typically found in modern cuisine, and is today largely unknown to the general public and most chefs. It is a component of Berbere, the characteristic Ethiopian spice mixture, and as such is encountered mainly in Ethiopian cuisine.
This aromatic plant is known for its pleasantly bitter, slightly sweet seeds. Its leaves can also be used in salads. Fenugreek seeds, which come whole and ground, are used to flavor many foods including curry powders, spice blends and teas.
Shallots are formed more like garlic than onions, with a head composed of multiple cloves, each covered with a thin, papery skin. The skin color can vary from pale brown to pale gray to rose, and the off-white flesh is usually barely tinged with green or purple.
Cinnamon is the inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree. When dried, it curls into long quills, which are either cut into lengths and sold as cinnamon sticks or ground into powder. Cinnamon is a dark reddish-brown color and has a pungent, slightly bittersweet flavor.
Native to the Spice Islands, this hard egg-shaped seed from the nutmeg tree (a tropical evergreen) is grayish-brown and about one inch long. The flavor and aroma are delicately warm, spicy and sweet.
Used since 500 B.C., rosemary is native to the Mediterranean area (where it grows wild) but is now cultivated throughout Europe and the United States. Rosemary's silver-green needle-shaped leaves are highly aromatic, and their flavor hints of both lemon and pine.
Used in cooking since 600 B.C., turmeric is the root of a tropical plant related to ginger. Though native to the Orient, this spice is now also cultivated in India and the Caribbean. It has a bitter, pungent flavor and an intense yellow-orange color.
Cardamom, sometimes cardamon or cardamum, is a spice made from the seeds of several plants in the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the family Zingiberaceae. Both genera are native to the Indian subcontinent, Bhutan, Indonesia and Nepal.
Cardamom has a pungent aroma and a warm, spicy-sweet flavor.
A plant from tropical and subtropical regions that's grown for its gnarled and bumpy root. It has a tan skin and a flesh that ranges in color from pale greenish yellow to ivory. The flavor is peppery and slightly sweet, while the aroma is pungent and spicy.
SUN-DRIED CHILI PEPPER