If you can’t get enough of the gorgeous and complex flavours of berbere spice, then you must try this delicious berbere chicken pasta.
This dish was inspired by the fragrant berbere spice, which forms the backbone of Ethiopian cuisine. Berbere is a combination of some well-known spices like fenugreek, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, paprika, nutmeg, cloves, cumin and chilli along with some less common ones like ajwain, korarima and nigella, which are easily found in Ethiopia. I make my own spice blend, and only used the common spices; which are easily available.
The combination of these spices forms very complex, aromatic and citrusy flavours with sweet undertones. Berbere spice is quite versatile and although typically used in Ethiopian cooking to season stews, meat, fish and rice; it can impart its distinctive flavours on any food, including pasta, as I found out the first time, I tried berbere chicken pasta. It is punchy, full flavoured and warming; just perfect for this time of the year.
How To Prepare Berbere Chicken Pasta
If you have a cupboard well stocked with spices, it is easy to make the spice blend at home, otherwise, buy the ready mixed spice, which is available at major supermarkets. I encourage my readers to stock up on common spices; they come in handy when you need to make spice blends. Having different herbs and spices to hand not only makes cooking more fun, it makes it easier to make blends suitable for individual taste.
Berbere spice can be quite hot, depending on the quantity of chilli; if you are making the blend yourself you can reduce or totally omit the chilli depending on your tolerance for heat.
Toss in some vegetables into the berbere chicken pasta to make for a more nutritious meal. I used sugar snaps and mushroom, feel free to use vegetables of your choice.
Berbere Chicken Pasta
Berbere Spice Blend
- 3 tablespoons Paprika
- 1 tablespoon Garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Chilli
- 1 teaspoon Ginger
- 1 teaspoon Onion flakes
- 1 teaspoon Coriander
- 1 teaspoon Cloves
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Fenugreek
- 2 fillets Chicken breast sliced
- 2 tablespoons Berbere spice
Berbere Chicken Pasta
- 2 tablespoons Sunflower oil
- ½ Onions chopped
- 2 fillets Berbere chicken sliced
- 1 can Chopped tomatoes
- 200 g Pasta any short pasta shape
- 1 tablespoon Berbere spice
- Sugar snaps – a handful sliced
- Mushrooms – a handful sliced
- Prepare the berbere chicken by sprinkling the spice mix and some salt on the chicken. Mix very well with a wooden spoon and keep to one side while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Fry the onion in the oil until it translucent.
- Pour in the chicken slices and allow to cook on both sides to seal the spices in.
- Add chopped tomatoes, pasta and some water.
- Add the berbere spice and some salt to taste. Give it a stir and cover the pan.
- Allow to cook for the time specified on the pasta pack or until the pasta is cooked.
- Just before it is ready, add the vegetables and cover for a few minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve.