Niter Kibbeh (Ethiopian Spiced Butter)

Niter kibbeh  is  a fragrant clarified butter used in Ethiopian and Eritrean cooking that is spiced with turmeric and other aromatics.

Niter Kibbeh (Ethiopian Spiced Butter)

Niter Kibbeh (Ethiopian Spiced Butter)

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

This recipe of the day for Niter Kibbeh (Ethiopian Spiced Butter) is being posted in conjunction  with my recipe for Ethiopian beef siga tibs (click for recipe)

It is really easy to make by heating a few spices in clarifed butter or ghee. It can also be made in cooking oil. I strained mine out to clarify it from the spice residue, but this isn’t even totally necessary if you are going to use it in a food without cooking it much further. However,   in a heated pan, some of the spices might burn if cooked excessively. So just strain it a couple of times in a fine mesh strainer.

Niter Kibbeh (Ethiopian Spiced Butter)

Besides being good for both Ethiopian and Eritrean cooking, I can see this as being excellent used in many other recipes, especially those from India and Pakistan. It would also be good as a drizzle for popcorn.

It keeps well in the refrigerator so you can feel comfortable making a bit extra for later.

Niter Kibbeh (Ethiopian Spiced Butter)

  • Difficulty: easy
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Niter Kibbeh (Ethiopian Spiced Butter)

Yield: 1 cup


  • 1 cup ghee or clarified butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon  ground  turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion  powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1  teaspoon garam masala


  1. Heat ghee with ginger, garlic and spices until fragrant, then strain (twice if necessary).
  2. Cool and  store in refrigerator until needed.

From the kitchen of

Niter Kibbeh (Ethiopian Spiced Butter)

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2 responses

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