Friday, 12 July 2013

Barbare Powder (A wonderful Red color Herbs and Spices Powder Of Ethiopia)

Barbare Powder
Barbare are Big Fat Red chilies grown in Ethiopia. They are similar to the Kashmiri chilies which have very less degree of hotness but extremely beautiful red color when made to powder. In Ethiopia they add quite a few numbers of herbs and process the mixture before grinding it to fine red powder having the flavors of herbs. When added to any vegetarian / non-vegetarian dish while cooking the color and flavor imparted is very appealing. In Ethiopia they use it in almost every savory. I love to use in marinade for paneer / Chicken / Mutton / Fish. No need to use artificial color to get that attractive red color you see while eating out. Aleminish whom I call my Ethiopian daughter use to diligently make it for me. God Bless her for all she did for me.
I blog this with only one aim that people visiting Ethiopia know that this the specialty spices powder of Ethiopia. So do take it back home from here.
In the blog I have shown the traditional way of making using wooden Mortar-Pestle. Mixer-Grinder can be used for the same purpose as wooded mortar-pestle is used here. Even if some of the herbs are difficult to get (I do not know the English / botanical names for two of the herbs Kosarat and Thosen) they can be omitted yet the color will remain the same, some compromise with the aroma will have to be done then.

Preparation Time: 1 hour
Making Time: 48 hours
Servings: Makes 1.250 kg. Barbare Powder (Approximately)

Ingredients Required For Making Barbare Powder (Cup measurement is for a cup of 150 ml. Volume)
  • 1 kg. Dried Barbare / Dried Kashmiri mirch/ Dried Fat red Chilies
  • 250 gm. Garlic
  • 250 gm. Ginger
  • 1 Cup African Blue Basil Flower
Flowers of African Blue Basil (Basobella)
Aleminish Pounding the Barbare in Traditional Wooden Mortar-Pestle
  • 100 gm. (1/2 cup) Thenadam seeds
Thanedam Seeds, Flowers stem and Leaves
  • 1 Cup fresh Rosemary leaves
  • 1 Cup Thosen leaves (Dried) 
  • 1 Cup Kosarat leaves (Dried)
  • 1 Tea cup Korarima (Black cardamom (Shelled))
  • 1 Tea cup Khamun (Cumin seeds)
  • 1 tea cup Dimbelal (Coriander seeds )
  • 1/4 Tea cup (100gm.) Karamfut (Cloves/ Lawang)
  • 1/2Tea cup Kharafa (Cinnamon stick / Dalchini)
  • 1/2 Tea cup Abush (Methi seeds)
  • 100 gm. (1/2 tea cup Gomenzar (Mustard seeds)
  • 100 gm. Salt
Directions For Making Barbare Powder:
  • Let the barbare dry under the sun for 6-8 hours in summers (40-45oC) and 10-12 hours in winters. The Idea is to dry them completely.
  • Pound or grind them to coarse powder. Do not remove the seeds.
Alemnish Pounding Barbare in Traditional Wooden Mortar-Pestle
Coarsely Pounded Barbare
  • Peel garlic and ginger.
  • Pound or coarse grind the garlic.
Gralic to be pounded in traditional Wooden Mortar-Pestle
  • Add ginger and pound or coarse grind both of them together.
Ginger added to Coarsely pound Garlic
Ginger and Garlic pound coarsely
  • Remove all stem from rosemary.
  • To the mixture of garlic and ginger add
    • Thenadam seeds
    • The leaves of rosemary
    • Flowers of African blue Basil (Basobella)
Rosemary, Basil, Thenadam seeds added to ginger garlic
  • Pound again till a coarse pulpy mixture of ginger, garlic and rosemary is formed.
Coarsely Pounded Ginger, Garlic, and Herbs
  • Remove and add the mixture of garlic, ginger and herbs to the coarsely pounded/grinded barbare.
Pounded herbs, garlic, Ginger added to Coarsely Pounded Barabare
  • Mix nicely and keep in an open container for 24 hours. The juices from garlic, ginger, and herbs will get absorbed by dry barbare pieces.
  • Dry the mixture under the sun till crisp. All moisture should be removed only by sun drying.
Dried Mixture of Herbs, Ginger, garlic and Barbare
  • Roast Abush (methi seeds) on low flame till light brown in color.
  • Roast Korarima seeds (Black cardamom seeds) for 2 min. on low flame.
  • Roast Khamun (Cumin seeds) on low flame till light brown.
  • Roast Karamfut (Cloves) on low flame for 2 min.
  • Roast Gomenzar (mustard seeds) on low flame till they start spluttering.
  • Roast Dimbelal (Coriander seeds) on low flame till they change the color to one shade darker than original color. It will take 3-4 min.
  • To the dry mixture of barbare, ginger, garlic and herbs add all above told roasted spices and Kharafa (Cinnamon sticks) and dried leaves of Kosarat, Thosen.
Barbare Powder
  • Grind the mixture to fine powder. Here it is made in large amount in every house hold so they grind it in spices grinding mills as it is done in India for spices. Small amounts (250 gm.) can be grinded in grinder/ mixer at home only.
  • Do not remove the seeds from Barbare.
  • Do not make fine paste of garlic and ginger it will be difficult to dry the barbare, garlic, ginger and herbs mixture. Coarse grind or pound them.
  • Do not cover tightly (airtight) while the barbare and herbs mixture is kept for soaking of the juices.
Suggested Variations:
  • For those who do not eat garlic it can be avoided.
  • 1/2Kg. Onion can be added to barbare and herbs mixture before it is kept for soaking of the juices, after peeling and pounding to coarse paste.
  • The amount of rosemary and Basobella (Basil) can be increased to double to get strong flavor and smell.
  • African blue basil can be replaced by any basil available locally.
  • Dried seeds of Thenadam are available they can be added to the roasted spices and barbare mixture instead of fresh seeds during pounding the herbs.
  • Fresh leaves of Kosarat and Thosen are available in Ethiopia if they are available to you use them instead of dry leaves. Fresh leaves can be pounded along with ginger, garlic, Rosemary and processed.
  • Fresh herbs impart better flavor and smell to the Barbare powder.

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