Thoughts from Friends

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Ethiopian lentil stew, also called Misr kik wot (pronounced Mee-sir key-k watt) is a hearty dish made with red lentils and Berbere, a traditional mixture of African, Middle Eastern and Indian spices that varies from kitchen to kitchen.  If you prefer your dishes spicy, dial up the heat by substituting cayenne pepper for part or all of the paprika in the Berbere.  Traditional Ethiopian dishes are eaten by hand with injera, a crepe-like, spongy bread made with teff flour. I’ve found injera incredibly challenging to make, so I switched it out for rice.  If you haven’t had an Ethiopian meal before, see if you can find a restaurant in your area – you won’t be disappointed!

Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew

seasonal RECIPES for those who love to EAT

  Serves: 4 to 6

  Prep. Time:  15 minutes

  Cook Time: ​ 30 minutes

  Difficulty: ​Easy

What You Do

1.  Cook rice per package instructions.

2.  Combine dry Berbere spices (ground allspice through salt).

3.  Gently toast dry spices in skillet for a few minutes.  (Keep stirring the spices and don’t let them burn.) Let cool.

4.  Combine with ginger, shallot, garlic, and oil.  Grind the mixture in a blender until fully incorporated.

5.  Heat a large sauce pot and add the vegetable oil.  Add the minced onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, until onion begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring frequently.

6.  Add the Berbere and stir until mixed well and onions are very soft.

7.  Add lentils and water; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for approximately 20 minutes or until lentils are soft.

8.  Drain the garbanzo beans and rinse under cool water, stir into the lentils.  Ladle a generous serving of stew atop a scoop of rice. Top with crumbled goat cheese and serve immediately.

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What You Need

Red Lentil Stew

2 c. Dry jasmine rice

2 tsp. Garlic; minced

1/2 Large onion; minced

1 tbsp. Berbere (see below)

1/2 c. Vegetable oil

2 c. Dry red lentils

2 (15 oz.) cans of garbanzo beans

1 tsp. salt (optional)

4-5 c. Water

Crumbled Goat Cheese (for topping)



1/4 tsp. Ground allspice

3/4 tsp. Ground cardamom

1/8 tsp. Ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. Ground cloves

1/2 tsp. Ground coriander

1/2 tsp. Cumin

1 tsp. Fenugreek

1/4 tsp. Ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp. Ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. Turmeric

4 tbsp. Paprika

1 tbsp. Cayenne Pepper

1 tbsp. Salt

1 tsp. Fresh ginger; grated

2 tbsp. Shallot; finely diced

1 tsp. Garlic; minced

1/4 c. Vegetable oil