Mitmita is a traditional Ethiopian spice blend consisting of spices like ginger, cumin, cardamom and cloves to name a few. The spices used vary by recipe but every Mitmita blend contains African bird’s eye chili peppers.
African bird’s eye chili pepper is related to regular bird’s eye chili pepper often called piri piri or peri peri. It is a small pepper with a pointy end that grows with the point facing upwards rather than down. When ripe, the pepper turns red. Bird’s eye peppers introduced to Africa developed their own flavor and appearance due to the climate.
Mitmita is used to season beans and meat, most commonly Kitfo. Kitfo is a dish of finely minced raw beef. It is sometimes used to make Awaze, an Ethiopian dipping sauce.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Spices are significant in Ethiopian cuisine. Located near the Red sea, Ethiopia once controlled the spice trade and with that came the introduction of many spices into Ethiopia and the formulation of spice blends like Mitmita and Berbere.
Ethiopian Mitmita Recipe
- Bird's eye chili peppers - 20
- Cumin seeds – 2 tbsp
- Green cardamom pods (seeds only) - 10
- Korarima seeds (Ethiopian cardamom) - 10
- Black peppercorns – 1 tbsp
- Allspice berries – 1 tbsp
- Ground ginger – 1 tbsp
- Garlic powder – 2 tsp
- Cloves – 2 tsp
- Cinnamon stick - 1
- Salt (preferably Ethiopian) – 2 tsp
- In a heavy-bottomed pan, roast the whole spices (cinnamon, seeds, and berries) and
the dry chilli peppers over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until the fragrance is
released. Shake the pan frequently to prevent the mixture from burning.
- Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely, stir occasionally
- Place the cooled mixture and all the other ingredients in a spice or coffee grinder, and blend into a powder.
- Store in an airtight glass jar, away from light and direct sunlight.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 55Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 477mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g
Photo Credit: LexnGer