Mekelesha Kimem is the Ethiopian Finishing Spice. Rather than buying it at an Ethiopian store, I like to make my own.
Much like curry seasoning, this spice blend depends on region and household. Most of the blends are the same 6 or 7 spices, but the quantity of each may vary.
I learned about this spice combination from my dear neighbor, Rabiya. She makes the BEST Kay Wat on the planet! No joke! To make hers, she would measure out 2 spoonfuls of each spice, so roughly equal volumes (roughly, being the key word).
I decided to weigh out each spice to get more consistent results. Also, if you don’t have the whole spices at home, but you have the ground, you can weigh out the ground and still have pretty similar results.
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- Black Cardamom: 20 grams
- Whole Nutmeg: 15 grams (about 3)
- Whole Cloves (also at Shega Spice): 10 grams
- Whole Black Pepper Corn: 17 grams
- Cinnamon Bark: 10 grams
- Indian Long Pepper: 15 grams
- Whole Cumin: 15 grams
Heat up a frying pan. Put all of the spices in the pan and toast them over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or until you start to smell the delicious aromas. Toasting them helps to release the amazing flavors.
Remove the pan from the heat and let the spices return to room temperature. Once they’ve cooled, grind the spices together in a spice/coffee grinder, turning them into a fine powder. I like to put it through a fine sieve to make sure that there are no large large chunks of spice.
This yields just under 1 cup of spice mix. Store the powder in an air-tight container. I actually leave mine in the freezer to keep it longer.