COUNTRY:                           ERITREA

DISH:                                     HEMBASHE

CONTRIBUTED BY:            Embassy, Mission in Pretoria

Himbasha | H’mbasha | Ambasha, is an Ethiopian celebration bread, made for special occasions. It is a popular flatbread made for Christmas in Ethiopia and Eritrea. Himbasha is a mildly sweet leavened bread most commonly flavored with ground cardamom. The bread apart from being celebratory, can be made for breakfast or afternoon tea. It goes perfectly well with a cup of tea. There are many variations of the flavorings used in the Himbasha. Some use black sesame seeds while some use raisins. There is also a version made with fenugreek seeds.



450 grams wholewheat flour

½ – ¾ cup warm water

25 grams fresh yeast

½ tsp ground fenugreek seed

½ tsp ground coriander seed

½ tsp ground cardamom seed

½ tsp salt


oil or butter



In a large bowl, add the flour, yeast, salt, and ground seeds. Mix well to combine.

Slowly add warm water to make a soft dough.

Cover the bowl, allow the dough to rise in a warm place (1-1½ hours)/

Decorate the bread with a knife.

Bake the bread in a greased, covered frying pan for 10 minutes on a medium to low heat.

Turn over the bread and bake it for another 5 minutes.

Remove the bread from the frying pan and spread it with some water and butter.

Serve warm or cold in wedges.