Awaze (Ethiopian Hot Sauce)

Awaze is an Ethiopian hot sauce featuring berbere, a distinctive hot, peppery, and aromatic spice blend consisting of an array of spices, seeds, and herbs, most commonly chilies, fenugreek, holy basil, paprika, coriander, cardamom, allspice, cumin, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, and ajwain seeds. Additional ingredients are included to round out this incredibly easy-to-make no-cook condiment for a balance of heat, sweetness, and bitterness. Traditionally, awaze includes mitmita, another Ethiopian spice blend (here I've used just berbere spice powder as it's readily available in many stores worldwide), and t'edj, a sweetened honey wine, although gin, whiskey, or red wine serves well as a substitute.

Awaze can be used as an ingredient in other dishes, a dipping sauce, a glaze, in wraps, or anything you can think of calling out for a spicy hot accompaniment. Adjust the amount of water to achieve you desired consistency, depending on the intended preference and purpose.
Awaze (Ethiopian Hot Sauce)Awaze (Ethiopian Hot Sauce)
Recipe by
Cuisine: Ethiopian
Published on May 14, 2024

A quick no-cook variation of a traditional Ethiopian hot sauce featuring the prized Ethiopian spice blend called berbere

Preparation: 10 minutes
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  • 3 tablespoons berbere powder
  • 2 tablespoons water + more as desired
  • juice from 1 lime (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon gin, whiskey, or red wine
  • 2 tablespoons honey, coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients until well combined. To thin out the sauce to your desired consistency, whisk in more water. Serve immediately. Store remaining sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Makes 1/2 cup

More hot sauces to try from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Hot Green Chili Sauce
Quick and Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce
Devil's Nightmare Pasta Sauce

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