Indulge in the rich culinary heritage of Eritrea with Ambasha, a beloved traditional bread that encapsulates the essence of Eritrean cuisine. Known for its distinct flavor and soft, airy texture, Ambasha holds a special place in Eritrean households and celebrations.

This flatbread, often adorned with intricate patterns, is meticulously prepared using simple yet wholesome ingredients such as flour, yeast, water, and a touch of sugar or honey. Its preparation involves a delicate balance of kneading and resting, allowing the dough to develop its characteristic flavor and texture.

Once baked to golden perfection, Ambasha fills the air with a tantalizing aroma, beckoning all who encounter it to indulge in its warmth and flavor. Whether enjoyed on its own, paired with savory stews and dips, or shared among friends and family during festive occasions, Ambasha embodies the spirit of community and togetherness that is deeply rooted in Eritrean culture.

Experience the joy of breaking bread and the timeless tradition of Eritrean hospitality with Ambasha—a culinary treasure that delights both the palate and the soul.

Here's a recipe for Eritrean Ambasha, a sweet and festive bread flavored with cardamom and adorned with intricate designs:


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Additional flour for dusting
  • Water for brushing
  • Optional: sesame seeds or nigella seeds for decoration


1- In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy.

2- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, ground cardamom, and salt.

3- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the activated yeast mixture, lukewarm milk, and vegetable oil.

4- Using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix the ingredients until a rough dough forms.

5- Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for about 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Add more flour as needed to prevent sticking, but avoid adding too much flour, as it can make the bread dense.

6- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.

7- Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release the air and divide it into two equal portions.

8- Roll out each portion of dough into a circle about 1/2 inch thick. Transfer the dough circles onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

9- Using a sharp knife or a dough scraper, score intricate designs on the surface of the dough. Traditional designs include geometric patterns or swirls.

10- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

11- Let the scored dough circles rest for another 15-20 minutes to slightly rise again.

12- Brush the surface of the dough with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds or nigella seeds, if desired.

13- Bake the Ambasha in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.

14- Once baked, transfer the Ambasha to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

Enjoy your Eritrean Ambasha as a delightful addition to your festive celebrations or as a sweet treat with your favorite hot beverage!

Nutritional Values:

Here are the approximate nutritional values for the ingredients used in the Eritrean Ambasha recipe, per standard serving sizes:

All-purpose flour (1 cup, 125g):

  • Calories: 455
  • Protein: 12g
  • Carbohydrates: 95g
  • Fat: 1g
  • Fiber: 3g

benefits:All-purpose flour provides carbohydrates for energy, protein for muscle repair and growth, and fiber for digestive health.

Active dry yeast (1 tablespoon, 7g):

  • Calories: 23
  • Protein: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Fiber: 1g

benefits:Active dry yeast is a source of protein and contains B vitamins, particularly B6 and B12, which support metabolism and energy production.

Lukewarm water (1/4 cup, 59ml):

  • Calories: 0
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g

benefits:Lukewarm water helps activate the yeast and hydrate the dough, ensuring proper rising and a soft texture in the bread.

Granulated sugar (1/2 cup, 100g):

  • Calories: 387
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 100g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g

benefits:Granulated sugar adds sweetness to the bread and provides quick energy in the form of simple carbohydrates.

Ground cardamom (1 teaspoon, 2g):

  • Calories: 6
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g

benefits:Ground cardamom adds flavor and aroma to the bread and contains antioxidants that may promote heart health and digestion.

Salt (1/2 teaspoon, 3g):

  • Calories: 0
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g

benefits:Salt enhances the flavor of the bread and helps regulate the yeast activity, as well as providing essential minerals like sodium and chloride.

Lukewarm milk (1/2 cup, 120ml):

  • Calories: 74
  • Protein: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 6g
  • Fat: 4g
  • Fiber: 0g

benefits:Lukewarm milk adds moisture and richness to the bread, along with protein and calcium for bone health.

Vegetable oil (1/4 cup, 60ml):

  • Calories: 477
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fat: 54g
  • Fiber: 0g

benefits:Vegetable oil adds moisture to the bread and contributes healthy fats, including unsaturated fats that support heart health and vitamin absorption.

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on factors such as brand, freshness, and specific ingredients used. Additionally, the nutritional values provided are for the individual ingredients and do not account for any changes that may occur during cooking or baking.


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