Chef Marcus Samuelsson considers this one of the three building blocks of Ethiopian cooking, along with Berbere and injera bread. He says virtually no meal in his home country is made without this butter, which is added to meat and vegetable stews, such as his Stir-Fried Beef Stew.
Servings: 1.5 cups
- 4 sticks (16 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1/2 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 3-inch piece ginger root, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 8 basil leaves
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. As foam rises to the top, skim and discard it. Cook, without letting the butter brown, until no more foam appears. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool until the spices have settled to the bottom of the pan. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve before using. Store in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container for up to 3 weeks.
Adapted from Marcus Samuelsson's "The Soul of a New Cuisine" (Wiley, 2006).
Tested by Lauren C. Talcott.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.