Often described as hot and spicy, berbere can be substituted in recipes calling for chili powder since it adds earthy, aromatic, and slightly sweet flavoring. Although its origins are North African, the spice works well in Italian and Mexican recipes that require some "heat."
The Ethiopian roots of berbere go deep into its history. Today we know Ethiopia as a land-locked country. Two thousand years ago, it was part of the Aksum kingdom, which included parts of modern day Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Yemen, and southern Saudi Arabia. More importantly, it bordered the Red Sea.
Baharat is often compared to other spice blends from the Middle East, India, & Northern Africa like garam masala, ras el hanout, za'atar, & advieh. While there are some similarities in ingredients, it would be a disservice to each distinct blend's cultural and culinary legacies to lump them together. Read on to learn