Margarita's International Recipes


Spiced Butter

Spiced butter is the most common cooking base for Ethiopian meat stews. It's easy to make, though if you start with butter, rather than ghee, the clarification process can take some time.

Spiced Butter


  • 1 lb butter or 12 oz. ghee
  • 1" ginger piece, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 onion slices, chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried fenugreek
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamon seeds (not pods)
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. turmeric


If using butter, melt in a medium-size pot over medium heat. Skim the foam off the surface as it forms, until the butter is pretty much clear. If using ghee, you can skip this step.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the butter/ghee. Stir and simmer for about 15 minutes. Let the vegetable/spices settle and then pass through a sieve, discarding the vegetables/spices. To make the spiced butter, melt 1 lb of butter in a pot. Skim the foam as it forms, until the butter is pretty much clear. You can also by clarified butter at some ethnic food stores (again, try Middle Eastern ones). Mix a small piece of chopped ginger with 1 clove of garlic (minced) and a couple of slices of chopped onion. Add to the butter. Add one tsp of fenugreek, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp basil, 1/4 tsp cardamon seeds, 1 tsp of oregano and a pinch of turmeric. Stir and simmer for about 15'. Let the spices settle, and then drain.

Adapted from a recipe in Daniel J. Mesfin's Exotic Ethiopian Cooking

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