Veggie Salad with Berbere

There’s an Ethiopian restaruant in Denver that we go to every summer when we’re there visiting the nieces.   It’s kind of in a sketchy part of town.  It’s in a seen-better-days strip mall.  The sign out front has faded to oblivion.  It takes almost an hour to get your food (definitely made from scratch).   They’re kind of grumpy.

We go every year.  It’s that good.

This little place has inspired me to make my own Sambussa, Shiro Wat, and Injera (with varying results).  On our last trip, we had a delicious cold salad on our platter that reminded me almost of a tabouli.   After some research, I found it it was probably a Timatim Salad.  An authentic timatim has shredded injera which is probably what I mistook for a type of grain.

Not having any true North African markets here and definitely not wanting to make my own injera again, I decided to morph the Timatim recipe into more of a vegetable salad.

I used a fresh cucumber, tomatoes, and jalapenos from our garden for this one.

Berbere is a aromatic mix of paprika, black pepper, coriander, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, chili, fenugreek, cardamom, cloves, and garlic.

Veggie Salad with Berbere

Debra (based on a recipe found here.)

The East African berbere spice gives this salad its unique taste.


  • 1 1/2 c. sweet onion (like a Vidalia), chopped
  • 1 large cucumber, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 c. grape seed oil (or other mild oil)
  • 3 T. Champagne vinegar
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 t. berbere spice


  1. Prepare vegetables and place in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the grape seed oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and spice.
  3. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to combine.
  4. Cover and place in refrigerator to let marinate for at least thirty minutes before serving.

Yield: 4 servings


We went crazy with that berbere spice and added it with a bit of olive oil to some chicken thighs.  Grilling them smelled delicious and they were a great accompaniment to this salad.

If you want to try your hand at making your own spice blend, try this recipe.   Be assured that we will as soon as our tin of premade mix runs out.

If you would like to see my review(s) of the restaurant that inspired this salad, see below.

Read Debra K.‘s review of Queen of Sheba on Yelp

I’m also linking up with Deb’s (Kahakai Kitchen) Souper Sunday.

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