Niter Kibe 
Ethiopian Spiced Butter

Niter kibe  as well known as Niter kibbeh or Niter Qibe is the name for spiced clarified butter that is used often in the Ethiopian cuisine. It is somewhat similar to the Indian ghee.

The butter is melted before the spices are added and later placed in a jar or another suitable container to be stored in a cool place.  

Preparation time: 15 minutes 
Cooking time: at least 50 minutes
Resting time: 5 minutes
Total time needed: at least 1 H 10 minutes
Grade of Difficulty: standard

Niter Kibe

  • 500 gram / 17.6 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2.5cm / 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 5 cardamon pods, crushed
  • 1 tsp. fresh turmeric root, diced  or turmeric powder
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, grated
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 5 leaves of basic, chopped 


  • Put butter into a small stainless steel pot, turn stove on to low to medium setting to melt the butter
  • Stir it frequently 
Niter kibe finished liquid in jarThe finished liquid spiced butter in jar
  • Bring the melted butter to the boil and add onions, ginger, garlic and all the spices to it
  • Reduce the heat to low and let the butter and spices gently simmer for 45 minutes, stirring it frequently. 
  • Make sure it doesn't stop to boil, if necessary increase the heat slightly
  • After 45 minutes take the pot of the heat and let it cool down slightly for about 5 minutes
  • Place several layers of a fine cheesecloth over another small pot and let the niter kibe drain through it
  • It should be clear and without any solids in the liquid
  • If there are still some solids left pore it again through the cheesecloth
  • Discard the spices or use them for another savory dish and fill the Niter kibe into a airtight jar with lid
  • Let it cool down to room temperature before you store it in the fridge

Use it in small portions for your Ethiopian or other African cooking recipes or as a replacement for normal butter or margarine for your sandwiches or when you are preparing popcorn at home.

You should get about 2 cups of spiced butter from this recipe

Doro Wat - Traditional Ethiopian Chicken stew with hardboiled eggs and a hot pepper sauce

Shoko - Ghanaian Beef and Spinach Stew

Zilzil Alicha Wot - Ethiopian Beef Stew (Mild)

Return to the Home Page

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Share your favorite recipes with the world!

Share your recipe - You got a favorite dish? Is there a recipe that your mum or your granny always cooked for you that you remember from your childhood? Share it with the world! The 20 most popular recipes of each month will be published on a dedicated page for everybody to see.

[ ? ]

Upload 1-4 Pictures or Graphics of your Recipe (optional)[ ? ]


Click here to upload more images (optional)

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

  •  submission guidelines.

(You can preview and edit on the next page)


Recent Articles

  1. sharp red fruity sauce and nutty cabbage rolls

    Jul 03, 18 05:09 AM

    An adaption of our diet towards greater vegetable content was desired for health reasons and one thing I wanted to translate from the traditional German

    Read More

  2. venison moussaka

    Jul 02, 18 01:49 PM

    This Cape venison moussaka recipe is a classic dish with aubergines. Aubergines are in season, gleaming and a perfect unblemished black .Moussaka is both Greek and Turkish

    Read More

  3. mu shu pork

    Jul 02, 18 09:22 AM

    Mu shu pork is a delicious dish that originated in Northern China. The dish can as well be prepared with chicken and only became popular in the Western world in the second halve of the 20th century.

    Read More

Top 30 Recipes of 2017

Top 10 Recipes of September 2017

Top 10 Recipes of August 2017

Top 10 Recipes of July 2017

Top 20 Recipes of June 2017

Top 10 Recipes of May 2017

Top 10 Recipes of April 2017 

Indian Recipes

German Recipes

Condiment Recipes

Seafood Recipes

Soup Recipes

South African Recipes

Casserole Recipes