Ethiopian Kitfo Recipes

Spicy Ethiopian kitfo recipes could inspire you to eat raw meat more often with its unique blend of African chili peppers and other warming spices.

Kitfo is a traditional Ethiopian dish that's made from finely chopped raw meat mixed with clarified butter which is used as the carrier for the spices.

Even though this meal is traditionally eaten raw, you can slightly cook your meat to make what is called Kitfo Leb Leb.

Traditional Ethiopian Kitfo Meal

If you've ever eaten at an Ethiopian restaurant and ordered Kitfo, this is more or less the experience that you will receive. 

Traditional Kitfo Main Ingredients:

  • Raw Minced Quality Beef
  • Niter Kibbeh a Seasoned Clarified Butter
  • Mitmita a Hot Blend of Spices

Kitfo is traditionally eaten with cooked greens, soft cheese, and flatbread (Injera or Kocho).

I think that Kitfo is a great way to experience eating raw meat.  And it is spicy, but delicious! 

What is Mitmita?

Mitmita is an Ethiopian orange-red chili pepper blend that is very spicy. 

It contains African chili peppers, cardamom, cloves, and salt. 

If you can't find Mitmita at your grocery store, you could probably replace it with cayenne pepper. 

However, the flavor of your kitfo won't be the same.

Raw Ethiopian Kitfo Recipe

If you are serving more than 2 people, just double this recipe.


  • 1 Pound of Minced 100% Grass Fed Tender Cut of Meat
  • 2 tsp. of Mitmita
  • Koremina Seeds (1 to 2 tsp. of ground seeds)
  • 4 to 5 Tbsps. of Niter Kibbeh
  • Optional:  Sea Salt to Taste


  1. Heat the Koremina seeds in a dry pan. 
  2. Then grind them into a powder. 
  3. Melt the Niter Kibbeh in a pan on low heat with the Koremina powder and salt (if using).
  4. When Niter Kibbeh has melted, add this to the minced raw meat and mix well. 
  5. Lastly, add in the Mitmita and mix thoroughly together.

A 100% grass fed tenderloin would be a great choice for making the minced beef for your kitfo.

Just be sure the meat you decide to use for your kitfo is at room temperature before you cut it into tiny pieces.

And be sure to remove any fat and all sinew.

How to Make Niter Kibbeh


  • 1 Pound of 100% Grass Fed Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 an Organic Onion (chopped)
  • 2 to 3 Crushed Cloves of Organic Garlic
  • 2 to 3 Slices of Organic Ginger (1/4 inch slices)
  • 1 Tbsp. of Ground Korarima
  • 1 Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Stick
  • 3 or 4 Whole Organic Cloves
  • 1 tsp. Organic Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. Organic Turmeric


  1. Melt butter on low heat in a saucepan.  Then add in the remaining ingredients.
  2. Simmer on the lowest heat possible for 1 hour.
  3. Pour the clear golden liquid off the top and leave all the solids in the bottom of the pan. 
  4. Strain with cheesecloth if necessary.  Discard solids.
  5. Store in refrigerator or freezer until needed for your Kitfo recipes.
  6. If you can't find or don't want to make Niter Kibbeh, you can just use melted butter with additional seasoning. 

Ethiopian Kitfo Leb Leb Recipe
with Chili Peppers

This preparation is more like a Kitfo Leb Leb which is just slightly cooked kitfo or rare kitfo.


  • 1 Pound of 100% Grass Fed Ground Beef
  • 2 Tbsp. of Mitmita or to Taste
  • 2 Tbsp. of Ground Korarima or to Taste
  • 2 or 3 Finely Chopped Chili Peppers (seeded)
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp. of Melted 100% Grass Fed Butter
  • Optional:  1 tsp. of Sea Salt


  1. Add the ground beef and chili peppers to a mixing bowl. 
  2. Then add in Korarima and mix well. 
  3. Add in Mitmita and mix well. 
  4. Add salt if desired and mix again.
  5. Heat melted butter on low until somewhat hot. 
  6. Add in spiced meat mixture and mix quickly to avoid cooking the meat. 
  7. After a little while, turn the heat off and keep mixing.

This is a great way to make sure the spices get evenly distributed into Ethiopian kitfo. 

Use a non-toxic coated pan, so you can safely mix ingredients using a fork.

This recipe also shows you how to make Kitfo using melted butter instead of the more traditional seasoned clarified butter called Niter Kibbeh.

What are Korarima Seeds?

In Ethiopian cuisine, there is a cardamom pod that's known as Koremina. 

It's also known as False Cardamom, Korerima, and Ethiopian Cardamom. 

Inside this pod, you'll find the Korarima seeds.

There is a big difference in taste, smell, and size compared to its smaller black and green relatives. 

However, black cardamom pods used in Indian dishes will have a small resemblance to Korarima.

If you can't find Korarima, use the black cardamom instead.  Just be sure to stay away from the green cardamom when making kitfo.

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