Recipe: Kitfo - The Africa News


Kitfo (sometimes called ketfo) is a traditional dish found in Ethiopian cuisine. It consists of minced raw beef, heated and marinated in mitmita, a spicy chilli powder based spice blend, and niter kebbeh (a clarified butter infused with herbs and spices).

Kitfo cooked lightly rare is known as Kitfo leb leb. Kitfo may be served alongside, or mixed with mild cheese and cooked greens.

In many parts of Ethiopia Kitfo is served with injera, a flatbread made from teff, although in traditional Gurage cuisine, one would use kocho, a thick bread made from the ensete plant. An ensete leaf may be used as a garnish. Though not considered a delicacy, Kitfo is generally held in high regard.

The word comes from the Ethio-Semitic root k-t-f, meaning “to chop finely; mince.”


• ⅛ cup niter kebbeh (spiced butter)
• ¼ cup onions, finely chopped
• 2 tablespoons green pepper, finely chopped
• 1 tablespoon chilli powder
• ½ teaspoon ginger, ground
• ¼ teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
• ¼ teaspoon cardamom, ground
• ½ tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon berbere
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 pound ground beef


1. Melt the niter kebbeh in a large frying pan.
2. Add onions, green pepper, chilli powder, ginger, garlic, and cardamom, and cook for 2 minutes while stirring.
3. Let cool for 15 minutes.
4. Add lemon juice, berbere, and salt.
5. Stir in raw beef and serve.

If you prefer the Kitfo cooked, saute it over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

By Recipe Safari,