Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew


Mesir Wat – Spicy Red Lentil Stew is a traditional side dish from Ethiopia. It is made with Ethiopia’s signature spice blend, Berbere and has a kick to it.

Total Time: 54 min

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 44 min


1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed and drained

2 medium red onions, finely chopped

1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

2 tsp fresh garlic, finely minced

2 tsp vegetable oil

3 tbsp tomato paste

2 tbsp Berbere spice blend

3 cups water + more if required

½ tsp salt or more to taste

Fresh cilantro, chopped for garnishing


♦ Place a large saucepan over medium heat and heat the oil.

♦ Add in the onions and cook, stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes or until tender.

♦ Mix in the ginger and garlic and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.

♦ Stir in the tomato paste and Berbere spice blend. Stir fry for 1 minute.

♦ Slowly pour in the water whisking to combine thoroughly.

♦ Increase heat and bring to a simmer. Add in the red lentils and simmer on medium low for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender and form a thick stew. Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary.

♦ Season with salt and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with rice, any other grain or the Ethiopian flatbread Injera.


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