Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ethiopian Spicy Red Lentil Stew


Since we have added our latest member of the family I feel a bit like the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland... I'm late, I'm late.... however I am learning to put my neurotic behavior aside and just go with it.  Sometimes that means pulling out random things from cupboards and nooks and crannies and calling it dinner, and sometimes it means cooking up a big batch of something on a Sunday that can be eaten for dinner the following day and then a lunch or two.  This was fantastic.  If you like lentils, or Ethiopian food you must try this.  If you have never had Ethiopian you can think of it along the lines of Indian... it's not the same by any means but they share a spice or two so I'm willing to bet if you like Indian you will like Ethiopian.  I happened to love both and went on an Ethiopian kick recently so I have another recipe or two coming.  Enjoy.

Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew
adapted from


2 teaspoons canola oil  ( I used Niter Kibbeh a traditional Ethiopian, spiced clarified butter)
2 cups chopped red onion
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons Berbere spice (a mixture of spices which I will also post but you can google it) 
3 cups organic vegetable broth
1 cup dried small red lentils (I ran out so I mixed in a few black dal... do not do this as they take about three times as long to cook) 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
4 cups hot cooked basmati rice


Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 15 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add ginger and garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in tomato paste and Berbere spice; cook 1 minute, stirring to combine. Gradually add broth, stirring with a whisk until blended. Increase heat to medium-high; bring to a simmer.

Rinse lentils until cold water; drain. Add lentils to broth mixture; simmer, partially covered, 35 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in salt. Sprinkle with cilantro; serve over rice.

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