Cook's Hideout: Ethiopian Tomato Salad (and Berbere spice recipe)

January 17, 2014

Ethiopian Tomato Salad (and Berbere spice recipe)

Blogging Marathon# 36: Week 3/ Day 1
Theme: Ethiopian Cuisine
Dish: Tomato Salad
My theme for this week's blogging marathon is trying 3 dishes from either European, African or Oceanian cuisines. I wanted to try some dishes from African cuisine, but after reading through the list of regions and dishes on wiki, I decided to stick to Ethiopian Cuisine. Ethiopia is a country that is located in Horn of Africa, the eastern most projection of African continent. It was interesting to know that Ethiopia is one of the oldest location for human life known to scientists.
Coming to Ethiopian cuisine, it consists of vegetable and often very spicy meat dishes, in the form of wat, served on a large sourdough based flat bread called injera. Also Ethiopians eat with their right hand just as Indians do and the spices used are also very similar.
Ethiopian Berbere Spice
Today I have two Ethiopian recipes: Berbere spice mix -- this is very similar to our very own garam masala and is essential to make maby Ethiopian dishes. I already have a recipe for berbere spice, but this one's a little different and it is Chef Marcus Samuelsson's recipe. Second recipe is a simple and refreshing Tomato salad.

Ethiopian Berbere Spice
Ethiopian Berbere Spice:
Coriander seeds - 2tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1tsp
Cardamom pods - 6
Cloves - 4
Peppercorns - ½tsp
Dry red chilies - 5, broken (I used the ones I got from Indian store)
Ground Allspice - ¼tsp
Onion powder - ¼cup (or use ½cup of dried onion flakes)
Paprika - 3tbsp
Kosher Salt - 2tsp
Ground ginger - ½tsp
Ground nutmeg - ½tsp
Ground Cinnamon - ½tsp
Ethiopian Berbere Spice
  • Dry roast coriander seeds, fenugreek, cardamom pods, cloves, peppercorns and dry red chilies until fragrant. Make sure they don't burn. Cool them completely.
  • Grind the spices into a smooth powder. If using dried onion flakes, then grind them along with the other spices into powder.
  • Remove into a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  • Store in an airtight container and use as needed.
Ethiopian Berbere Spice
Ethiopian Tomato Salad:
Ethiopian Tomato Salad
Tomatoes - 2, chopped
Onion - 1 small, finely chopped
Green chilies - 1, finely chopped

For the dressing:
Lemon juice - 2tbsp
White Balsamic Vinegar - 1tbsp (or use rice wine vinegar)
Olive Oil - 1tbsp
Sugar - 1tsp
Salt & Pepper - to taste
Ethiopian Tomato Salad

  • In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients for the dressing.
  • Combine tomatoes, onion and chilies in a mixing bowl. Add the dressing and mix well. Set aside for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Ethiopian Tomato Salad
Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 36.


  1. Both the spice mix and the salad look so flavorful! I too have taken this theme but its for next week :)

  2. Pavani, such a beautiful post..loved reading about new cuisine..and pictures are so good..

  3. I have a love/hate relationship with Etiopian cuisine. I love berbere spice mix - it makes many of their meat and veggie dishes so delicious but I hate injera bread - the texture I find so unappetizing - like a sponge.

  4. The spice powder sounds so aromatic and flavorful. The salad looks very tempting and vibrant.

  5. Lovely pictures. Those tomatoes look gorgeous. Simple yet refreshing salad

  6. Simply stunning salad and I love the berbere spice mix!


  7. Hey,Great. post right to the point cook with a lot details and information
    The salad it something, my grandma used to do back home
    Now most of my family they don't know how to do it they buy salad in package lol.Thanks you so much!!!
    Stream Africa

  8. Great post! I’m going through a major obsession with spices this summer and am excited to add berbere to my arsenal. I recently purchased imported berbere from The taste
    was great. I cooked Misir wot - spicy red lentils and love it.


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