How To Make Ethiopian Clarified Butter (Niter Kibbeh)

How To Make Ethiopian Clarified Butter (Niter Kibbeh)

Niter Kibbeh is by far one of the tastiest butters you will ever smell and taste.

Making this Ethiopian butter recipe couldn’t be easier, simply chuck all needed ingredients in to a pan and let your burner do the rest!

In Ethiopia, this spiced butter is used in pretty much every dish you could imagine, it adds huge amounts of character and we highly recommend that you give it a go when making an Ethiopian speciality.

You can substitute it for a dairy-free butter or cooking oil of your choice, but once you’ve made Niter Kibbeh, you’ll simply never go back.

Enjoy this simple recipe and leave a comment below, tell us what you think!

niter kibbeh recipe vegan
5 from 2 votes

Niter Kibbeh (Ethiopian Spiced Butter)

Niter Kibbeh is an Ethiopian spiced butter and must-have ingredient when cooking Ethiopian recipes. It adds a really unique flavour and depth to all dishes, plus it's great to dipping breads in to.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Calories 280 kcal


  • 1 pound vegetable ghee / dairy free butter
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated
  • 1 small white onion finely chopped


  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1.5 tsp black pepper finely crushed
  • 1 tsp cardamon seeds finely crushed
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds finely crushed
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 clove roughly crushed


  1. Place all ingredients (including spices) in a saucepan over a medium-low heat. When a foam begins to rise on the top, skim it off with a small spoon. If it begins to boil over or looks like its going to, lower the heat to a simmer.

  2. Stir gently until there is no foam, this takes around 30 minutes.

  3. When the butter is clear on top and the solids sink to the bottom of the pan, it's ready to remove from the heat.

  4. Allow the butter to cool down for around 10 minutes.

  5. Pour the butter through a sieve into a glass container and store in the fridge for up to 2 months. You may also freeze it for longer.

    Visit our Ethiopian recipes page for more vegan inspiration!    

4 thoughts on “How To Make Ethiopian Clarified Butter (Niter Kibbeh)”

  • 5 stars
    Since switching to a vegan diet 8 years ago we’ve eaten A LOT of ethnic food. Ethiopian was such a pleasant discovery and has since become one of our top 3 favourites. Our 30 year old son has been making Shiro and Mushroom Tibs, his 2 favourite dishes. Instead of unflavoured oil we wanted to enhance our recipes. This Ethiopian spiced butter did the trick. This recipe was delicious and so easy to make. The fragrance is amazing! Next time we’ll double the recipe and freeze it for convenience. Thank you for sharing. We’ll be making this often.

  • Hey Joan. You’re right, Ethiopian food is right up their as one our favourite cuisines also, so many vegan-friendly recipes to try! We’ll have to try the Shiro and Mushroom Tibs, they sound delicious!

    We glad you enjoyed this recipe, feel free to check out our other Ethiopian recipes here:

    Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating