Berbere Braised Sweet Potato

Serves 2

| Prep Time: 15 mins

| Cook Time: 45 minutes

| Total Time: 1 hour

You may need: Dried Garlic Powder

Discover The Recipe

Berbere is a foundational spice blend in Ethiopian cuisine crafted with spices found across the region. Berbere is typically made with spicy chilis, so Ethiopian cuisine is often known as being fiery hot. But actually, the cuisine brings together earthy, spicy, tart, sour, and bold flavors and is quite diverse. Berbere certainly can be fiery but, similar to curry, the baseline provides a deeply warming flavor that creates a satisfying dish that can be customized to different levels of spicy heat. 

Our Berbere Braised Sweet Potatoes is a perfect example of the beauty of this globally-renowned spice blend. Berbere spice adds a mild spicy heat up-front, rounded with alluring notes from the cardamom and cloves, finished with a subtle maple-bitter flavor from fenugreek. A feast for the eyes and the palate, the sweet potatoes become even more colorful from the Berbere and pair beautifully with the creaminess from the polenta. If you are adventurous, try to find and enjoy this meal with a side of traditional Injera, a sour fermented teff flour bread used to scoop up the food with your hands in place of a spoon. Berbere can also be used as a dry rub on grilled meats, roasted veggies and infused into stews and soups. Try it with tofu! 


  • 1/2 cup dry polenta

  • 2 cups water + more as needed

  • 1 pinch sea salt

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 2 tsp Piquant Post Berbere Spice

  • Water to make 1/8” thick deep layer in pan

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Zest of 1 lemon 

  • Optional Garnishes: Parsley, chopped pistachios


Sweet potatoes are the perfect vegetable to pair with the warming flavors of our Berbere Spice! Other mildly sweet veggies you can try in this dish include carrots, parsnips, butternut squash, and even pear.

When making the polenta, make sure that you stir it very frequently, as it thickens up very quickly and can stick to the bottom of the pan if you’re not careful. A nice addition to the polenta is some creamy plant based milk!

The history of Berbere Spice is fascinating! Read more about it here


Add the polenta, water and sea salt to a pot. Bring to a simmer and turn the heat to low. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Add more water as needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Peel and cube the sweet potato into 1/2” thick pieces. Heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in a skillet and cook the sweet potato for about 5 minutes over medium heat until the sweet potatoes are just tender.

Add the garlic, Piquant Post Berbere Spice, salt and pepper. Add just enough water to the pan to create a 1/8” thick layer in the bottom, and then cover tightly with a lid. Cook covered for 5-7 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender all the way through. Add the rest of the coconut oil and lemon zest, and stir gently until well combined. 

Divide the polenta into 2 bowls, and top with the sweet potato. Garnish with chopped parsley and pistachios. Serve immediately.

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • The creamy polenta is a great accompaniment to the boldly spiced sweet potatoes. You can also try it with rice, cous cous, risotto or even warm bread.

  • Serve this dish with a refreshing Tanzanian Spicy Slaw or a healthy green salad for a balanced vegan meal!

  • If you’d like to try meat-based dishes with our Berbere Spice blend, try our Ethiopian Chicken with Lentils or Eritrean Beef Zigni (stew), the national dish of Eritrea! 

  • Be sure to leave comments and feedback on your meals and experiments in the comments for others to read.

  • Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!

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