The Challenge

Ethiopian & Vegan: Ni´tir Qibe – Ethiopian Spiced Butter

Ethiopian & Vegan

Hi everybody,

a while ago I tried a delicious ethiopian recipe I was sent and it´s about time to share it with you I guess. 🙂

It´s called Ni´tir Qibe. Don´t ask me how to pronounce it – I will most definitely fail – but what I can tell you is that this is the most delicious butter I ever tasted.

Originally it´s the main ingredient for another ethiopian dish – the very famous stew Doro Wat. But you could say, that nearly no meal in Ethiopia is made without Nit’ir Qibe, which gives the cooking its signature flavors.

I use it nearly for everything that needs a special seasoning. You can take it instead of oil to fry vegetables or tofu in it, it´s a delicious spread as well or you can use it to season rice or mashed potatoes, soups, dips or any dish you like – there are so many ways to use that spiced butter and it really smells fantastic.

Ni´tir Qibe


  • 250 g unsalted, vegan butter (i.e. Alsan)
  • 2 chopped red onion
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cm piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh basil leaves or 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 2 cloves


Melt the vegan butter gently and slowly in a small saucepan. When the top is covered with foam, add the other ingredients and reduce the heat to a simmer.


Simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes until the butter clarifies. As soon as the solids turn light brown, remove from the heat. Let stand until the spices settle.

Pour the liquid through a double layer of cloth or a very fine-mesh sieve into a jar or any other heat-resistant container. Let it cool down and keep it in the fridge. You can use it for a couple of months.


መልካም ምግብ – melkam megeb!

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