I have a dim recollection of a Berbere paste, as opposed to powder.
Having had some experience making several New Mexican/Mexican, African, and
curry pastes, these are some notes, combining several paste and powder recipes,
applying techniques honed on other pastes I have made.
Remove stems and (most of the) seeds from about
lightly crushed, and barely cover in water in small, tall (if possible) stock pot.
Low simmer for about 20 minutes.
- 10 dried New Mexico chile pods
- 1+? tsp salt
Dry roast, on low to med-low heat, whole spices:
When starting to brown, remove to mortar and pestle and grind.
- 1 T corriander
- 1 t cumin
- 8 cloves
- 1/2 t nigella
- 1/4 t ajwain
- 1/4 t fenugreek
- 1/2 t allspice
- 1/2 t black peppercorns
- 1/4 t cardamom (black?), removed from pods
Add oil to pan, over med to low heat, and gently add in this order:
Let onions start to clear before proceeding to other spices.
- 2-3 Ancho, pequin, or similar chilis to taste, briefly in oil before onion
- 1 medium chopped onion, red or purple if available.
- 1/2 head garlic, sliced against grain, or coarsely chopped
- 1/4 t ground cinnamon
- 1 T paprika, and perhaps other mild red chile
- pinch, perhaps 2-3ml fresh grated nutmeg, 1/4 t if pre-ground
- ground roasted spices from previous step
- ~10-15cc ginger, thin sliced against grain, chopping optional
gently saute on med-low until ginger seems to have bloomed in the oil.
Just a minute or two for the ginger.
remove from heat.
Blend pods with immersion blender.
Strain. Extract as much liquid as possible pressing mush into strainer with back of spoon.
Returned strained liquid to pot, dispose of (mostly) skin pieces.
Add oil-bloomed spice mix to chile sauce pan.
reduce if necessary to fairly thick chunky sauce consistency.
Save in refrigerated jar. Use perhaps 2-3 times as much paste as powder in recipes.