Awaze is a traditional Ethiopian sauce made by mixing a handful of ingredients and requires no cooking. There are a great number of recipes, varying by household, restaurant and personal taste. The only ingredient found in every Awaze recipe is Berbere spice.
From there the other ingredients begin to vary, these include various combinations of tej, wine, honey, water, niter kibbeh, oil, mitmita and chili peppers.
Traditional Awaze is made with Tej, an Ethiopian honey wine. Since Tej is hard to find outside of Ethiopia, it is usually substituted with a combination of table wine and honey. Sometimes other alcohols are substituted for Tej, such as gin.
Berbere and Mitmita are both spice blends popular in Ethiopia, Eritrea and surrounding countries like Somalia. Berbere can be made from a wide variety of spices such as nutmeg, turmeric, ginger, fenugreek, cardamom and chilli pepper. Mitmita is made with fewer spices but is hotter than Berbere. Niter kibbeh is an Ethiopian spiced clarified butter or ghee.
Awaze is used as an everything sauce. It’s used for dipping, as a spread, vegetable glaze and a base for soups and stews.
Origin & Cultural Significance
While the details around Awaze’s history is unclear, there is little doubt of its Ethiopian origins. It combines 4 staples of Ethiopian cuisine, berbere and mitmita spices, tej and niter kibbeh and is proudly served alongside many Ethiopian dishes. In fact, it is the dipping sauce for gored gored, Ethiopias unofficial national dish of raw beef.
- Berbere - 2 tsp
- Mitmita - 1 tbsp
- Tej – ½ cup
- Niter kibbeh – 2 tbsp
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Honey – ¼ tsp
- Medium-dry white wine – 1/3 cup
- Berbere spice blend – ¼ cup
- Mix all the ingredients together to form a smooth paste.
- Store awaze in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Whisk the honey into the wine in a small bowl until well dissolved.
- Add the berbere powder and whisk again until blended.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 52Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 1251mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g