Ingredients: african birdseye chile powder, sea salt, cardamom, ground clove
There are two spice blends heavily used in Ethiopian cuisine. Berbere which is a rich red color (due to the Smoked Sweet Paprika and Cayenne chile pepper) and it’s the signature seasoning in the hearty Ethiopian stew, called wat. While, Berbere may be the best known Ethiopian spice mix, Mitmita, pronounced "Mee-tee-mee-ta", is a very aromatic, red-orange colored, crazy hot spice blend.
Ethiopian cuisine generally consists of vegetable and often very spicy meat dishes such as stews (known as wat), often served with flatbreads or over grains. A traditional Ethiopian meal has a combination of injera (signature Ethiopian flatbread which has a unique, slightly spongy texture) served with different wats. Each cultural group or village tends to have slight variation on these dishes.
Mitmita is used to season the chopped raw lean beef dish “kitfo” (also spelled ketfo). Mitmita isn’t just for raw meat dishes as Kitfo is sometimes lightly flash fried in a wok or hot pan to a rare state, which is known as “kitfo lab lab”. Mitmita is also used to season fava beans.
Small dishes of extra mitmita are often served as a table condiment – for this reason it is sometimes considered almost a salt blend. Mitmita is also an excellent way to spice up many dishes in the kitchen, as just a tiny bit adds both heat and aromatic depth. Mitmita may be presented as a condiment and sprinkled on other foods or spooned onto “injera”.
Mitmita is a delightful blend of spices that is sometimes described as an African version of curry powder. It has a wonderfully rich aroma, and is spicy hot. This seasoning blend should be used sparingly especially the first time you use it as while it provides a wonderful, delicate and unparalleled taste it does pack a big kick. It works well when used with beef.
While typically used for Ethiopian dishes, Mitmita is now also found in fusion dishes of chicken or cheese, and also added to cream cheese or yogurt to make an unexpected but flavorful dip or served with baked potatoes, vegetables or in salad dressing.
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