"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!


Ethiopian Berbere Lentil Stew #Food of the World


Ethiopian cuisine consists mostly of spicy meats and vegetables served over injeria a foam, like textured bread that is made from teff flour, which is gluten free. This lentil dish is seasoned with Berbere, a spice mix that is primarily chili, but has many other seasonings such as coriander, paprika and clove. 

The flavor of Berbere reminded my daughter of the red sauce you put on falafel. I would agree. It is a very complex flavor that has a lot of heat, so if you are sensitive to spiciness start with a small amount of Berbere, say a teaspoon, and continue to add it to the lentils until you find the right spice level for you. 

Ethiopian Lentil Stew, also known as Misr Wat, is traditionally made with Egyptian lentils. I could not find these, so I used Indian red lentils. Not ever having had Misr Wat before they tasted great to my family and I. 

We loved how just buying a new spice mix Berbere, which you may have to order online or luck out and find in a health food like I did, opened myself and family to entirely new cuisine. 

Ethiopian Berbere Lentil Stew

by Diane Balch
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: entree gluten-free vegetarian lentils Ethiopian

Ingredients (4 - 6 servings)
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 onion minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons of Berbere
  • 2 1/4 cups of vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garnish: chopped tomatoes


1) Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

2) Cook onions until they soften, then add garlic and Berbere. Cook for another minute. Do not brown the garlic.

3) Add the lentils stir and cook for a minute, then add broth. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer stirring occasionally for 20 minutes or until the lentils soften. You may need to add more broth or water is fine.

Serve with couscous, rice, bread, and garnish with chopped tomatoes.

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  1. I considered doing this stew but ended up making chicken stew. Bookmarked the recipe.


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