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from: Eastern Africa | cooking method: boiling-simmering

Niter Kibbeh

Take unsalted butter and melt it slowly, cook it so that the moisture in the butter evaporates the milk solids will sink to the bottom of the pan strain the clear liquid from the top, and you have clarified butter. Clarified butter can be used for cooking at higher temperatures than normal butter. It also keeps longer. The ghee used in Indian cuisine is a kind of clarified butter.

Ethiopia's Niter Kibbeh (Nit'ir Qibe) is a spiced clarified butter, something like India's ghee, but flavored with spices. It is used in many Ethiopian dishes, for example, Doro Wat. It is usually made in large quantities and kept on hand for daily use.

What you need

What you do

There are variations of the basic niter kibbeh recipe. Even if you don't have all of the spices the recipe calls for, you can make perfectly good niter kibbeh if you have most of them. Fenugreek is the most essential.


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