Niter Kibbeh - Ethiopian spice infused clarified butter

This is another ingredient that's supposed to be essential for making wat, the national dish of Ethiopia. Like all things in this dish, it seems to be kind of ridiculously time consuming and have a large number of ingredients, but here we go:


8 oz. unsalted butter (1/2 pound)
half a small onion (half a small onion), minced
2 cloves garlic
1 piece sliced ginger (about 1 tsp.)
2 cardamom pods
1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
1/2" cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
1/4 tsp. tumeric

Toast the whole caradmom and fenugreek in a dry sauté pan until toasted but not burned.

Melt the butter over low heat in a heavy saucepan - do not brown or let it bubble. I did this at "4" on my stove and it took 20 minutes. Resist the temptation to turn up the heat because the milk solids burn easily. Once foam starts to form on top of the butter, scoop it off and discard. Lower the heat to prevent boiling. This is basically the same technique I normally use to make clarified butter.

Increase the heat and add the onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook for a few minutes and add the remaining ingredients. Lower the heat and cook over low heat for a half hour. Continue to remove any foam that forms on top.

niterkibbeh1.jpg
Pour into a heatproof container suitable for pouring. I like to use a pyrex measuring cup.

Scoop off any foam that forms and let sit for several minutes. Gently pour into another container leaving the milk solids, onion, garlic, and ginger in the measuring cup and allowing only the pure butterfat into the storage container. Pouring through a fine sieve will catch the spices so the storage container contains only seasoned clarified butter. I like to use an airtight glass storage container with a plastic top.

Let cool then refrigerate. It should keep for a few months or can be frozen.
 
Based on this recipe and this recipe.