Ethiopian Berbere Beef Stew
15 MIN
15 MIN

Ethiopian Berbere Beef Stew


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Korean chili powder (gochugaru) (see note)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water
  • 1 lb (450 g) lean ground beef


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, soften the onion in the butter for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, curry powder, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Cook for 1 minute while stirring. Generously season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the water and bring to a boil. Drop large chunks of the ground beef directly into the boiling liquid. Cook for 1 minute with out stirring. Break the meat up with a wooden spoon. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the liquid has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove the cardamom pods. Serve with rice, a green vegetable and flatbread.


Berbere spice is an Ethiopian spice blend that typically includes garlic, chili pepper, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. A ready-made spice mix can be found in many grocery stores.

Korean chili powder can be replaced with a mixture of 1 tbsp of sweet paprika and ½ tsp red pepper flakes.