Skip to Content

Berbere Seasoning

This Berbere Seasoning and Marinade is one of my faves. Delicious on fish, poultry or meat! Made with chilies and paprika, lemon juice and ginger plus a bunch of other things this is one paste you will find a use for!

Grilling season is still here and though I sometimes feel I am the one that’s on the grill-it has been so hot outside-usually it’s just a piece of chicken or fish.

I’m always looking for new ways to liven up my food and boy-have I got one for you! This Berbere spice rub and marinade is perfect for seafood, pork, beef, lamb and chicken.

Not only that, but it would be great on corn and squash. Rubbed on eggplant, this would take the cake. That just about covers everything, does it not?

I even mix it with a bit of mayo and use it on a spread as a sandwich. This stuff really rocks.

I love the lemony taste of the coriander, the ginger punches it up, and the garlic and chilies make this outstanding. It is spicy and full of flavor but it is spicy in the not so “hot on the tongue” kind of way.

berbere seasoning

 So when to use  a rub or a marinade?

Marinades are liquid and contain a tenderizer such as wine, vinegar, or citrus juice.

Rubs are merely to add flavor and this one sure does. It can also be used as a marinade by adding more oil to the recipe or even some water or beer.

It does contain some lemon juice so if you use it on seafood you wouldn’t want it to sit to long before grilling, or the juice may cook it for you.

I make it as a rub so that it can be kept in the fridge and stored. However it usually doesn’t last long!


Berbere seasoning has origins in North Africa. It is used in Ethiopia and Morocco and each cook has their own version.

I left out the fenugreek and the cardamom because I don’t often have those spices on hand.

I did punch up the chilies and used a combo of Urfa and Aleppo. If you can’t find them, feel free to use some red chile flakes.

I also added in some smoked paprika because everything on the grill tastes better with it-IMO!

Coriander is another spice that I don’t use often enough. It really adds depth in any seasoning mixture and gives a great lemony taste.

Try this berbere recipe and introduce yourself to some new spices. You won’t be sorry.

I shop at Savory Spice and though they are in my neighborhood, they can ship directly to your home.

Thought you can buy berbere seasoning, it is so much fun to make your own and experiment with your favorite combination of spices.

This berbere rub is a great way to try out a combo of different spices. Enjoy!


clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Berbere Spice Rub

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 15 Minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 Cups 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Cuisine: North African


This Berebere spice rub is not spicy hot, but it is full of spice. I love the lemony components from the coriander and the lemon juice!



1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 t freshly ground black pepper

2 T chopped fresh ginger (I used the kind in a tube)

3 T mild paprika

1 T smoked paprika

1 T ground coriander

1/2 t Urfa chilies

1/2 t Aleppo chilies

1/2 t ground cinnamon

1/4 t ground allspice

1/8 t ground cloves

3 t coarse salt

1 t honey

1/2 c olive oil

1/4 c fresh lemon juice or 1 lemon squeezed


Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree to a smooth paste. Taste for salt and pepper.

Store in fridge. The flavors have a chance to meld together after a few days.

This should be enough to rub or marinate about 2 1/2 to 3 lbs of seafood, poultry or meat.

(I am planning in making shrimp, pineapple and pepper kebabs tonight and this will be on them!)


Adapted from Stephen Raichlen (The Barbecue Bible)




Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Seyma Bennett Shabbir

Thursday 1st of September 2016

Follow you everywhere!! FB Seyma Doris Bennett Shabbir

Seyma Bennett Shabbir

Thursday 1st of September 2016

Email follow 2

Seyma Bennett Shabbir

Thursday 1st of September 2016

Email follow 1 [email protected]

Seyma Bennett Shabbir

Thursday 1st of September 2016

My favorite rub is a cajun seasoning. My older son loves it on corn especially!!

cyndi br

Friday 12th of August 2016

I follow you on twitter