Niter Qibbeh (Ethiopian Clarified Spiced Butter)

Niter Qibbeh (Ethiopian Clarified Spiced Butter)

Niter Qibbeh, is a crucial ingredient in Ethiopian cooking. It's prepared by clarifying butter infused with herbs and spices.

Featured Item: Qibbeh Spice | Butter Clarifying Blend


Yield: about 2 cups of niter kibbeh.

  • 6-8 sticks of butter (1.5 -2 lbs) (depending on how strong you want the spice flavor to be)
  • 1 jar (2.3 oz.) qibbeh kimmem

Step 1
Allow the butter to soften at room temperature.

Step 2
Thoroughly mix the spice mixture with the softened butter. Cover the butter-spice mixture with a lid and let it sit at room temperature for 24-48 hours. This step mimics the traditional Ethiopian method of making butter from fermented milk, enhancing the flavor profile. If you prefer, you can skip the room temperature resting and proceed directly to the next step.

Step 3
Place the spiced butter in a medium saucepan and bring it to an extremely slow simmer. Optionally, skim off any foam that forms, or skip this step as it will be removed during straining.

Step 4
Simmer the mixture over low heat for one to 1.5 hours, being cautious not to burn the butter.

Step 5
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh cheesecloth placed over a strainer and discard all solids.

Step 6
Pour the clarified niter qibbeh into a clean jar, allowing it to cool, and cover it tightly to maintain freshness.

The niter qibbeh can be stored at room temperature for several weeks, in the fridge for a few months, and even longer in the freezer.

Note that it will solidify in the fridge or freezer, and letting it come to room temperature will make it easier to scoop.


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