Monday, June 25, 2012

Ethiopian Lentil Stew!

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Ethiopian lentils

Made a huge pot of lentil stew for a potluck the other night, which couldn't have been easier to make if you have the right Ethiopian accompanying spices. In this case it was Berbere, and you can either go to your local Ethiopian food market if your city is lucky enough to have one, order online, or for extra credit make your own!  There are plenty of recipes online, but I just happen to have a mix already made that an old friend bought for us so I wanted to use it.  I also had a huge bag of French green lentils, also known as Puy,  in the cupboard so I used those instead of the red ones listed in this recipe.  It turned out just great! Not too spicy, but just hot enough and so flavorful with that lovely tangy/earthy smell and taste that Berbere gives a dish. Traditionally this dish is called Mesir Wat!  Have a go at it, and enjoy!


1 cup dried red lentils
1 onion, chopped
1-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can tomato paste
2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 Tb paprika
1 ts ground ginger
1 ts turmeric
1 ts garam masala
1 Tb berbere OR an additional 1 Tb paprika OR 1 Tb cayenne pepper
sea salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
oil for frying (to cover the bottom of the pot)


Soak lentils for at least an hour in water (I soaked them for 2!)
Drain and rinse and set aside
Saute onions and garlic in oil until golden
Add broth or water
Add spices and tomato paste
When gently boiling, add lentils
Turn down heat and simmer until lentils are tender and it's a thick stew
Periodically if you think it's getting too thick, keep adding a little veggie broth.
The more time this simmers, the more delicious it becomes!

Serve with rice, Injera bread or pita bread

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