|Clockwise from top: homemade berbere paste, awaze from homemade berbere and awaze from store bought berbere powder. Awaze is a hot sauce made a bunch of different ways, but the ones above have red wine, toasted onion granules and oil.|
I spent yesterday working on my berbere paste recipe and funking around with awaze sauce.
Anyway, if you're interested in berbere, I learned a thing or two about it yesterday. First of all, the good stuff, which can be purchased from Ethiopian markets in real life and on the internet, is a spice blend made from loads of dried onion and garlic, hot dried peppers, and lots of other warming spices. When you stick your finger in it and taste it, it's hot, but it's not insanely hot. It's easy to pick out the onion, salt and other flavors beyond the heat. That's why I was so surprised when I tasted the Penzey's berbere. It's SO HOT. I couldn't taste anything beyond the heat at all and the package sez it's made with cayenne pepper.
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