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Ethiopian Spiced Butter (Niter Kibbeh)

Niter Nibbeh a spice-infused clarified butter that is ever- present in Ethiopian cooking with an astonishing depth of flavor.
Course Condiment
Cuisine African
Keyword ethiopian butter, spiced butter
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Immaculate Bites


  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 Teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger root
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 5-6 Basil leaves


  • Place butter in a medium saucepan and melt completely on low heat.
  • Simmer without letting it brown, until the surface is completely coated with foam.
  • Skim off the foam as it rises to the surface while cooking until nothing more remains.
  • It should look quite transparent. Now, add all the ingredients: onions, garlic, ginger cumin, cardamon, oregano, turmeric, nutmeg, and basil. Continue cooking on low heat for about 15- 20mins.
  • Pass it through a cheesecloth or sieve. It is now ready to be used. Store in a tightly covered container for about a month in the fridge.