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Berbere Shrimp Curry – The Best Ethiopian Autumn Stew

Featuring a traditional spice blend that is the backbone of Ethiopian cooking, our Berbere Shrimp Curry recipe combines seasonal veggies, shrimp, and warm spice to make a comforting and delicious seasonal stew perfect for your Autumn table!

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Warm, Comforting Berbere Spiced Stew with Shrimp

There’s so much to love in Ethiopian food! In this post, we transport your tastebuds across the globe to Ethiopia. A place defined by magical culinary adventures. At the top of our list is this recipe for Berbere Shrimp Curry. We think it’s the best Ethiopian autumn stew highlighting the warm, spicy Ethiopian Spice Blend, a unique profile of flavor and heat that’s the backbone of Ethiopian cuisine.

Ethiopian spice is a spice blend used in many different dishes, including Ethiopia’s national dish Doro wat, a spicy chicken stew made with a fiery assortment of flavorful spices.

Our recipe uses the influence of the national dish and the spices used to create it, to make an Americanized autumn-inspired version that swaps out the chicken for fresh shrimp and includes a combination of sweet potato, cauliflower, and peas to make it extra hearty and comforting.

Closeup of Berbere Shrimp Curry in a bowl

ABOUT THIS RECIPE (per serving)

Gluten Free
Servings:  5
AVG. Maker RATING: 
4.60 from 5 votes
Write a Recipe Review
Prep Time :10 minutes
Cook Time :25 minutes
Total Time :35 minutes
Course : Main Course, Soup
Cuisine : American, Ethiopian
Diet : Gluten Free
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.
Calories 320
Fat 14.1
Carbohydrates 29
Protein 25.5

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What is Berbere?

Berbere is an incredible spice combo made from dried spices, with the taste varying across regions or even from household to household, depending on who makes it. The warm, spicy, sweet, and citrusy elements from the combined spices come together to create a complex fusion of seasoning that adds flavor to many types of protein, fruits, and vegetables.

The Ethiopian berbere spice blend can be used as a dry rub or blended with oil or water and honey to create a flavorful paste called Awaze. It’s essential for traditional Ethiopian dishes, and it’s a tasty spice blend to rub grilled vegetables, fish, and poultry for frying or grilling.

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How is it made?

Most berbere spice blends contain over a dozen different spices. The key ingredients include red chili peppers, fenugreek, and ginger, with other warm spices like coriander, cardamom, allspice, cumin, peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon. Blends can also include some lesser-known indigenous spice elements depending upon the region from where it comes.

The Ethiopian Spice Blend consists of all organic spice components found in everyday Ethiopian cooking. With its paprika base and various familiar, warm spices, this blend makes an excellent African BBQ Rub or versatile ingredient!

Non-traditional Ways to Use This Ethiopian Spice Blend

An essential ingredient for Ethiopian cooking here are a few non-traditional ways to enjoy this spice blend:

  • Use it to flavor many types of protein, fruits, and vegetables for frying or grilling
  • Spice up bean dishes
  • To season roasted chickpeas
  • Add it to stews for a rich, warm, flavorful heat
  • Use as a dry rub for meats
  • Season meatballs
  • Swap out other seasonings for this blend in grilled chicken or wing recipes
  • Blend with oil or water and honey to create a flavorful paste called Awaze.
  • Make a zesty dip or a sauce to accompany meats by whisking a little to taste with Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Whisk into Greek yogurt or sour cream for a zesty dip or sauce to accompany meats

Where to Buy Berbere Spice

You can buy the Ethiopian Spice Blend, which I get at  The Spice House. But you can also purchase Berbere in the spice or international section of well-stocked grocery stores, global markets, specialty stores, and other spice purveyors, and it’s easily made at home if you prefer to DIY using ground spices.

Spice Storage

In ideal conditions, three to four years is a rule of thumb for most ground spices. For the best flavor, you’ll want to use your Ethiopian Spice Blend within six months to a year. It will not “go bad,” so to speak, but it will begin to lose its flavor over time, eventually taking on a more bland, woody taste.

Berbere Shrimp Curry shown in a bowl nect to a pot of the stew
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How to Make Berbere Shrimp Curry

Our version of this stew starts with sautéing oil with onions and sweet potatoes to develop the flavorful base. After about three minutes, the onions will become translucent.

From there, you’ll add the crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, Ethiopian Spice Blend, and cauliflower, bringing it all to a simmer and cooking for about 15 minutes longer or until the cauliflower and sweet potatoes are fork-tender.

As the stew simmers, you will notice the aromatic and spicy mix from the blend of paprika and more than twelve spices simmering. The fragrant, warming, sweet notes from ginger and cinnamon, fennel, and cloves will fill your senses as the spices’ robust herbaceous qualities combine to fill your kitchen with comforting smells.

In the final step, shrimp and peas are added, then you’ll continue to simmer until the shrimp is opaque and cooked through, about five minutes more.

If you’d like, serve this stew with rice or injera (Ethiopian flatbread). The crêpe-like flatbread is a slightly sour, sweet, fermented sourdough bread traditionally eaten with Berbere spiced meals in Ethiopia. You’ll find it in the international section at many supermarkets, or you can make it yourself, which I intend to do someday soon, using the injera recipe from Cultures for Health which uses their gluten-free sourdough starter.

Final Thoughts

While this Berbere Shrimp Curry makes a warm and delicious autumn meal, I would encourage you not to let my reference to autumn dictate the season for enjoying this stew. Let your tastebuds be the guide in selecting the meals that appeal to you during this season, and always.

Have you tried this recipe? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please comment. Click the blue-green comment bubble on the bottom left of your screen to jump to the comment area.

XXO

Kymberley

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Berbere Shrimp Curry shown in a bowl nect to a pot of the stew

Berbere Shrimp Curry

Kymberley @GfreeDeliciously
Featuring a traditional spice blend that is the backbone of Ethiopian cooking, our Berbere Shrimp Curry recipe combines seasonal veggies, shrimp, and warm spice to make a comforting and delicious seasonal stew perfect for your Autumn table!
4.60 from 5 votes
Gluten Free
This recipe may contain affiliate links. For more information, visit our Affiliate Disclosure.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, Ethiopian
Servings 5
Calories 320 kcal

EQUIPMENT

  • Large Saucepan or Dutch Oven
  • Cutting Board
  • Utensils (Cooks Knife, Measuring Cups & Spoons, Rubber Spatula or Large Spoon, Ladle)

INGREDIENTS
 
 

  • 1 tablespoon Oil Non-GMO Grapeseed Oil recommended
  • 1 medium yellow Onion
  • 1 Sweet Potato 10 ounces frozen cubed
  • 1 can Crushed Tomatoes 28 ounces
  • 1 can Coconut Milk 13.6 fl. ounces
  • 2 tablespoons Ethiopian Spice Blend
  • 1 small head Cauliflower 12 ounces frozen Cauliflower florets
  • 1 pound raw Shrimp peeled and deveined
  • ½ cups frozen Peas
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INSTRUCTIONS
 

  • Heat the oil in the pot over medium heat. Add onion and sweet potato. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
    Onions and sweet potatoes in a pot, step 1
  • Add crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, Ethiopian Spice Blend, and cauliflower. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes or until the cauliflower and sweet potatoes are tender.
    step 2, add tomatoes, coconut milk, Ethiopian Spice blend and culiflower to the pot
  • Stir in the shrimp and peas. Simmer until the shrimp is opaque and cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
    step 3, add peas and shrimp to the pot
  • Serve as a stew with rice or flatbread if desired. [1]
    Berbere Shrimp Curry in a pot shown with flatbread on a plate

KITCHEN NOTES

[1] Serve this stew with rice or injera (Ethiopian flatbread) if desired. The crêpe-like flatbread is a slightly sour, slightly sweet, fermented sourdough flatbread traditionally eaten with Berbere spiced meals in Ethiopia. You’ll find it in the international section at many supermarkets, or you can make it yourself, which I intend to do someday soon, using the injera recipe from Cultures for Health that uses their gluten-free sourdough starter.

Nutrition

Calories: 320kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 25.5gFat: 14.1gSaturated Fat: 9.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.9gMonounsaturated Fat: 2.6gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 146mgSodium: 337.6mgPotassium: 1299mgFiber: 7.7gSugar: 10.3gVitamin A: 349.6IUVitamin C: 95.5mgVitamin D: 0µgCalcium: 156.3mgIron: 4.3mg
Keyword African Food, Autumn, Dinner, Lunch, quick and easy, Stew
Tried this recipe?Review it ! Or leave a comment. It’s super helpful for others and us!

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Kymberley @gfreedeliciously

Hi, I'm Kymberley, the creator of GfreeDeliciously and the Amazing, Glorious Journey Programs. I pray that my work will inspire you to honor your body through God and Good Food from the inside out, all while enjoying your Amazing, Glorious Journey!

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Being creative, cooking, fresh veggies, the violin, decorating for holidays, sewing, hand-quilting, cowgirl boots, country music, fresh herbs in pots, blowing dandelions to the wind, walking barefoot in the grass, hanging out with eclectic interesting people, reading, writing, warm lazy summer days, and yoga!

Gluten, cilantro, mixed vegetables (the frozen kind I grew up with), negativism, rudeness, narcissism, overstaying a welcome,
not helping out, liars, promiscuity, cockiness, know-it-alls, being overly-dramatic, goal-less-ness, poor hygiene, chauvinism, lacking a sense of humor, excessive competitiveness, Laziness, horrifying spellers, people-bashing, criticism and mockery of others and their beliefs, flakiness (because flaky people are really unappealing), more swagger than substance, people who constantly manage others (those folks who think they have all the answers…)

Lambrusco, my iPad, popcorn suppers, dark chocolate, cookbooks, Almond-Rocca, historical romances, sun-bathing, weekend coffee with a good book in bed, PBS cooking shows, romantic comedies, cozy sweaters, fuzzy socks, and fragrant bubble baths with soft music and wine…

Say please and thank you, LAUGH, Pray often, ENCOURAGE others, Be KIND, HONEST, HAPPY, Keep your PROMISES, Be GRATEFUL, Wash your hands, FORGIVE yourself and others, LISTEN, Have FAITH, Be CONFIDENT, Honor your parents, CHERISH your children and grandchildren, TREASURE your family, ABIDE in GOD’s love, Be POLITE, Guard your HEART, SEEK your purpose, FEED your mind, body and soul, Be HOPEFUL, Resist temptation, Lay your burdens down, TRUST your gut, CONNECT with nature, Know that GOD made you perfect just the way you are, SERVE others, LIVE to love, Be COURAGEOUS, Shine bright, OPEN your mind, RESPECT differences, HONOR your inner hunger, SING loud, Be PROUD of who you are, Practice PATIENCE, Never give up, WEATHER the storms of life, Say I love you, LOVE one another

  • I’ve traveled to 32 states in the USA where I’ve enjoyed the food, history, people and the local culture while visiting.
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  • My favorite island is Maui.
  • I’ve also been to Canada and Mexico.
  • I rode horses as a kid, and barrel-raced.
  • I broke my neck when I was 18 and went to senior prom in a neck brace.
  • As a little girl, I grew up living next door to my grandma and grandpa on a small lake in rural southern Michigan.
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Coach | Cook | Creator | Publisher

Meet Kymberley [Upson] Pekrul

A professional writer and self-taught Gfree lifestyle expert on [most] gluten-free things, I’ve always loved cooking and creating delicious foods from scratch for myself and those I love.

My journey began when everything I thought I knew about cooking and eating suddenly changed one day when I discovered I was celiac. So, I re-learned how to eat, cook, and navigate through life gluten-free – trusting God and His plan for me.

I live in what’s known as the Holylands of Central Wisconsin. All the recipes you’ll find here are gluten-free and inspired by the people and places I love most. Whenever possible, I cook with seasonal ingredients using whole foods – Making dishes suitable for everyday life and all food lovers gathered at the same table.

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