Most Commonly Used Spices in Ethiopian Cuisine

African cuisine wouldn’t be nearly as delicious if it wasn’t for the many spices it features, as it helps them taste the sauces they use to accompany ingredients that would be otherwise kind of tasteless, even though they may be extremely nutritive, such as cereals and grains.

Usually, mothers from African tribes, which were in charge of the kitchen, used spices to season their foods, such as seeds and leaves. And now that they’ve been influenced by several different types of cuisine and gastronomy techniques, they’ve added several new products like stock cubes. Scents, spices, and herbs used in Ethiopian cuisine are pretty common all over the world, given the fact that Africa hasn’t been the exception to the world trading of those kinds of products, and they have a huge Indian and Eastern influential. Today, we’re going to let you know about the most commonly used ingredients in Ethiopian food seasoning:

Stock Cubes

Sold as single-serving ingredients, those cubes are chopped to give more taste and color sauces, and they’re usually combined with garlic and pepper. Also, the most popular flavors are shrimp, hen, chicken, rooster, or prawns.

African Chilis

As you can tell by its name, African chilis are incredibly spice and have quite a strong scent, so they have a prime spot in Ethiopian cuisine, which always favor spicy and tasty foods. You can find them both dry and fresh in markets, and they’re used to season soups, sauces, and stews.

Cumin Powder

Cumin is one of the strongest scents in the world, and as we’ve already told you, Africans – and especially Ethiopians – always favor tasteful and spicy food. Therefore, cumin powder is always present in its recipes.


Even though it has its origins in Asia, ginger was brought to Africa by the Arabs long way back. They consume it fresh, dry or grounded. You can find it in every market in candies or crystals as well, and they also use it to make beer and sweets.


Egusi is a 100% African product, more specifically from the western side of the African continent. While most people may confuse it with pistachio, you can use it to make sauces and soups, and they usually use it to season chicken as well.


Ehuru is yet another completely African condiment. It comes from the seeds of an African tree called Monodoro Myristica, and while it’s most popular in Nigeria, Ethiopians are also quite fond of it.


Dried, smoked or fresh shrimp are extremely popular in Ethiopia, and so are prawns, and you can find them in most markets across the continent and they make for a huge part of most African sauces recipes.


Yes, Ethiopians use a lot of peanuts in their recipes as it’s considered the ultimate African condiment. They eat it both natural and toasted, and they also take the oil from it and even make peanut flour. Also, peanut butter is one of the most commonly used ingredients in African sauces.