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4.88 from 8 votes

Authentic Niter Kibbeh (Ethiopian Spiced Clarified Butter)

Wonderfully versatile, this famous Ethiopian spiced clarified butter will add life and flavor to a wide variety of dishes!  (See blog post for ideas.)
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: condiment
Cuisine: ethiopian
Servings: 2 cups
Calories: 67kcal
Author: Kimberly Killebrew



  • Toast the whole spices over medium heat in a dry skillet for a few minutes until very fragrant.  Be careful not to scorch the spices or they will become bitter.  Set aside.
  • Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring it to an extremely low simmer.  Continue to simmer over low for at least one hour or up to 90 minutes.  BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO BURN THE BUTTER.  If it burns it will be bitter and there is no salvaging it.
  • Pour everything through a fine-mesh cheesecloth.  (No need to skim off the foam, everything will be removed during straining.) Pour the niter kibbeh into a jar, let it cool, and cover so that it is airtight.  You can store it at room temp for several months or even longer in the fridge (it will be hard in the fridge, let it come to room temp for easy scooping).  Makes about 2 cups.
Calories: 67kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 5.9mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 2.5mg