Friday, May 15, 2009

Niter Kebbeh- Ethiopian spiced clarified butter

Niter Kebbeh is the fat used to cook many Ethiopian dishes. I'm printing the full recipe, but made only 1/4 of it, using only one stick of butter. I combined several recipes that I found online. Basically just adding a few extra ingredients to Kittee's recipe. She's a vegan and uses soy margarine in place of the butter, something I was out of at the time I made it. Next time I'll be sure to make at least a 1/2 recipe as I can see many more uses for this yummy stuff. Do yourself a favor, take a little jaunt to the bulk spices section of your grocery store and make some of this goodness. Oh and bonus...your kitchen will smell terrific when you're making it!

Niter Kebbeh:
(A combination of recipes from Kittee's blog [Cake Maker to the Stars] and from recipe3K)

1 lb butter
4 Tbs onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 Tbs garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp tumeric
4 whole green cardamom pods, crushed
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground fenugreek seeds
1 Tbs fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried...make sure it's not old)

In a small saucepan, gradually melt the butter and bring it to
bubbling. When the top is covered with foam, add the other
ingredients and reduce the heat to a simmer.

Gently simmer, uncovered, on low heat. After about 45 to 60 minutes, when the
surface becomes transparent and the milk solids are on the bottom,
pour the liquid through a cheesecloth into a heat resistant
container. Discard the spices and solids.

This will keep in a covered dish in your refrigerator for quite a while and I'll bet you find all sorts of non Ethiopian specific uses for it. I made collard greens with it the other night...super yum!
Served atop Quick Injera.

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