Ethiopian Awaze Spice Paste

Awaze paste is a spicy Ethiopian seasoning  paste made from berbere spice, ground bird’s eye peppers, honey mead and spiced butter.

Ethiopian Awaze Spice Paste

Ethiopian Awaze Spice Paste

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

This recipe of the day is being posted in conjunction with my recipe for Ethiopian Beef Siga Tibs where it is used as part of that recipe.

It is made by combining mitmita spice and berbere spice with honey mead to make a paste.

I used a European type mead in mine that my husband made at home- it is missing one component of herb from the Ethiopian type but since that is not available to me, it is pretty moot. If you can get that type of mead, by all means use it. You could probably also use a sweet white wine in this as well, but there is the hint of honey flavor in the mead.

Ethiopian Awaze Spice Paste

Mitmita spice is a blend of ground bird peppers or piri piri and a couple of other aromatics. I bought mine at a shop. If you want to sub, you can use the piri piri, ground dried Thai bird chilies or something like ground chiltepin peppers. I wouldn’t worry about the other spice so much if you are also using niter kibbeh in a recipe since it also has some  spice.   Otherwise, a pinch of garam masala might suffice.

Berbere spice is more readily available. It is not nearly as spicy as the mitmita, and is comparable to a New Mexican chili powder in heat (but not the flavor profile). It is a lot like hot paprika in a sense as well. Try to get that one for best results.

Ethiopian Awaze Spice Paste

It’s really easy to make- simple stirred together to make a paste.

I saw a local Ethiopian restaurant using this in some other recipes as well. It’s pretty tasty so I will probably be trying a few of those in my  kitchen in the near future.

If you like spicy food this is fantastic- and not nearly as hot overall in the paste as the mitmita by itself so don’t be too worried. You can always adjust the amount used if needed.

Ethiopian Awaze Spice Paste

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ethiopian Awaze Spice Paste

Yield: 1/2 cup


  • 1/4 cup berbere spice
  • 1 tablespoon mitmita spice (may substitute ground piri piri pepper)
  • 1/2 cup honey mead
  • 1 tablespoon niter kibbeh (spiced clarified butter) (click for recipe)


  1. Stir ingredients together to form a smooth paste.
  2. Use as required in Ethiopian recipes or as desired.

From the kitchen of

Ethiopian Awaze Spice Paste

You Might Also Like:

Ethiopian Beef Tibs

Ethiopian Beef Siga Tibs

Niter Kibbeh (Ethiopian Spiced Butter)

Kheema Mattar (Indian Spiced Beef with Peas)

Kheema Mattar

Gomen (Ethiopian Collard Greens) (posting soon)

Misir Wot (Ethiopian Spiced Lentils) (posting soon)

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