Ethiopian Awaze Recipe

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Are you ready to experience an explosion of flavors?

Ethiopian cuisine features an important ingredient known as awaze spice. This special blend consists of cayenne and paprika, ginger, garlic, and various traditional Ethiopian spices like besobilla, korerima, timiz, and caraway seed. Awaze spice is an incredibly versatile ingredient, adding both heat and exquisite flavor to any dish. It has a smoky and intricate taste that balances perfectly with any recipe. Making this spice mix is easy, and I have included the recipe for mild, hot, and extra hot versions in this guide.

You’re going to love making your own Awaze spice mix because it’s not only a fun process but also cheap. Plus, you get to experiment with the proportions and create something that suits your palate.

Ethiopian awaze recipe

Awaze Spice transforms any meal into a culinary experience.

This is a recipe passed down from my mom, Emaye. Her version includes mustard seeds (senafich), which I find to be a perfect addition. However, I also like to tweak the ingredients depending on what it’s being served with. If I’m serving it with Derek Tibs or Tire Siga, I definitely recommend adding the senafich (or wasabi) and lemon (or wine) to enhance the flavor. But when serving it with Shiro or Gomen, I prefer to keep it simple. For burgers, I use it as a spread with mayonnaise. And let me tell you, it’s a game-changer! Additionally, this marinade is perfect for meats and vegetables, and I love adding it to stews, soups, and curries to make them even more delicious.

Why Awaze Spice is the Perfect Addition to Your Ethiopian Cuisine

There’s no doubt that Awaze Spice is the perfect addition to any Ethiopian dish. It has a unique flavor and aroma that’s hard to find in any other spice blend. Plus, it’s versatile, healthy, and adds a rich, tangy, and nutritious component to your meals.

Ethiopian awaze recipe

Spicy food wonders for your health

Spicy food not only adds flavor to your meals but also does wonders for your health. But let’s face it, we don’t need health benefits to justify our love for spicy food, am I right?

Spices have been used in food since ancient times. They were highly prized and used as currency and trade commodities. Cinnamon, ginger, and pepper were used in China, Africa, India, and others for medicinal purposes. It was believed that these spices had healing properties and could cure ailments.

Ethiopian awaze recipe

So why do we love spicy food so much? Maybe it’s the endorphins that are released when we eat spicy food, which gives us that feel-good sensation. Or it could be the excitement of pushing our taste buds to their limits. Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure, spicy food is here to stay. So, if you’re one of those people who can handle the heat, get ready to learn about all the benefits of spicy food. Trust me, it’s going to be worth it!

Ethiopian awaze recipe

The science behind spicy food

Have you ever noticed how your body reacts to spicy food? The sweat on your forehead, the burn on your tongue, and yet you keep wanting more. Why is that? Well, let me tell you. Spiciness triggers the same response in your brain as when you experience pain, which might sound like a bad thing, but it actually releases endorphins. And who doesn’t love endorphins? But that’s not all.

Ethiopian awaze recipe

Capsaicin, the compound responsible for the heat in spicy peppers, has been shown to have numerous health benefits. It can aid in fighting inflammation, promote weight loss, and even improve heart health. Who knew a little heat could have such a big impact? And if that wasn’t enough, other compounds found in spices such as turmeric, ginger, and garlic have also been linked to various health benefits. So, go ahead and spice up your life with these amazing health benefits in store for you.

Ingredients required for Awaze Spice

If you’re looking to make your own authentic Awaze Spice mix, then you’re going to need a few key ingredients. The good news is that they’re all readily available and quite affordable. Don’t forget to use high-quality ingredients and get the proportions just right.

Ethiopian awaze spice mix
Timiz (long pepper), Besobilla (Ethiopian basil), Korerima (black cardamom), Caraway seed

If you need a list of ingredients, you can come to my shop, or my Amazon shop and check out the “Awaze Spice Ingredients” list.

Preparing Awaze Spice Mix Preparing

Awaze Spice Mix is easy, and you’re going to enjoy every step of the way. Roasting the whole spices brings out the depth and complexity of the flavors. Once roasted, make a smooth paste by adding garlic, ginger, and a little bit of oil. Finally, mix all the ingredients together and voila! Your Awaze spice mix is ready to be savored.

Tips for perfect Awaze Spice

The right proportion of spices is crucial for the perfect balance of flavors. Take the time to properly roast the spices to avoid a bitter taste, especially the besobilla. about a minute is enough on medium low temperature. Make sure the paste is smooth and well blended. Use Awaze spice mix judiciously since it’s quite potent.

Ethiopian awaze recipe

Store Awaze Spice Mix

Making a big batch of Awaze spice mix is a good idea because it lasts for months. Store it in an air-tight container in a cool, dark place like a pantry or in the fridge.

Ethiopian cuisine is incomplete without Awaze spice mix. Making your own authentic version is easy, fun, and so worth it. So, gather up your ingredients and let’s get started!

Try my Awaze Chicken wings recipe a click here.

Take a look at my Amazon for list of Awaze ingredients
What are you planning on using it with? comment below ……

Awaze spice paste

Samrawit Asfaw
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes


  • Blender
  • Face mask and gloves



  • 2 cups Paprika


  • 1.5 cups Paprika
  • .5 cup Chili powder


  • 1 cup Paprika
  • 1 cup Hot Chill powder

Herbs and spices

  • 12 Cloves Garlic
  • 6-7 inches Ginger
  • 3 Cups Boiled and cooled water or Distilled water
  • 1/4 Cup Besobila (Ethiopian Holy Basil)
  • 1 tbsp Nech Azmud (Ajwain seed) (caraway seed)
  • 1 tbsp Korerima (Black Ethiopian cardamom)
  • 2 pieces timiz Ethiopian long black Papper (or 6 black pepper corns)
  • 2 tbsp Salt (if you are planning to ferment it use less salt)
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil


  • Warm the spices on a pan for about a minute each then grind them together. be careful not to burn them or you will have to restart 🙂 especially the Basil, medium heat toss them with wooden spoon.
  • Add all to the paprika/chill powder
  • In a blender, Blend Garlic and ginger with water
  • Strain the garlic ginger blend on a strainer. you can stain the liquid directly to you spice mix or on a separate container then pour into the spices ( however is easy for you)
  • Mix Very well with spoon until no dry ingredients are showing, add oil then mix more to have a smooth paste.
  • Store in airtight container


  • For fermented hot sauce use less salt and keep it out of the fridge for about a week, then may place in fridge.
  • If not put some oil on top and place it in fridge
  • This paste have very long shelf life, it  can be made in bulk if you are planning on using it a lot.  
  • Do not reuse the spoon you use to scoop it with if it touched enjera, bread, stew sauce or salad  without washing and drying it or use another spoon to prevent spoilage. 

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