Cookbook:Kitfo (Ethiopian Minced Raw Meat)

Kitfo (Ethiopian Minced Raw Meat)
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Kitfo is a traditional Ethiopian dish made with minced raw meat that is highly seasoned and spiced. It is a popular dish in Ethiopian cuisine, known for its bold flavors and unique preparation. Kitfo is typically made with beef, although variations using other meats such as lamb or goat can also be found. This dish is often enjoyed with injera, the traditional Ethiopian flatbread.






  1. Place the minced beef in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate small bowl, combine the mitmita spice blend, salt, black pepper, and berbere spice blend.
  3. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the minced beef. Mix well with a spoon or spatula to evenly distribute the spices throughout the meat.
  4. Heat the clarified butter or olive oil in a small skillet over low heat until melted.
  5. If using niter qibe, add it to the skillet and let it melt with the clarified butter or olive oil.
  6. Pour the melted butter or oil over the seasoned minced beef. Mix thoroughly until all the ingredients are well combined.
  7. Let the kitfo marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld and develop.
  8. To serve, place the kitfo on a plate and shape it into a mound or individual portions.
  9. Accompany the kitfo with injera, collard greens, and crumbled ayib on the side.
  10. To eat, tear off a piece of injera, scoop a small portion of kitfo onto it, and wrap it before taking a bite.

Notes, tips, and variations

  • Kitfo is traditionally served raw, but if you prefer, you can lightly cook the minced beef in a skillet over low heat for a few minutes until it is just warmed through.
  • Adjust the level of spiciness by adding more or less mitmita or berbere spice blend to suit your taste preferences.
  • The quality and freshness of the meat are crucial when preparing kitfo. Ensure that the beef is sourced from a reliable and reputable supplier.
  • Use a sharp knife to finely mince the beef. Alternatively, you can ask your butcher to mince it for you.
  • Kitfo is often enjoyed as part of a larger Ethiopian meal, so it is common to have additional dishes such as lentils, potatoes, or salads alongside it.
  • Some variations of kitfo include lightly cooking the minced beef with the spices, which is known as leb leb or tibs kitfo. The beef is quickly seared in a hot pan, giving it a slightly cooked texture while maintaining its tenderness.
  • For a vegetarian version, you can substitute the minced beef with minced mushrooms or tofu and follow the same seasoning and marinating process.