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Misir wot, a delicious, rich Ethiopian lentil stew. Flavored with niter kibbeh and berbere.
I hope you've been enjoying learning how to make Ethiopian food at home.
Wat or wot is a stew or curry made by cooking chopped onions slowly, without any fat or oil, until much of their moisture has been evaporated.
Fat (usually niter kibbeh) is then added, the onions and other aromatics are sautéed before the addition of other ingredients. This method makes the onions break down and thicken the stew. So, don't spik this step!
Lentils for Misir Wot
Red lentils are traditionally used in this recipe. Once cooked, they turned to a pale yellow.
I've made this recipe in Paraguay with brown lentils and got great results too.
Spices for this Lentil Stew
Watching some YouTube videos on how to make this lentil stew, some cooks were adding a spice I have never used before called, mekelesha. I found a recipe at jabberwockystew.com and adapted it for this dish.
Berbere is a must for this recipe! I recommend using Asli Berbere.
Vegan Ethiopian Food
I've heard from a lot of people that Ethiopian food is the best vegan food out there.
The flavors are amazing, there are so many recipes with lentils, ground chickpeas, and split peas.
If you are looking into making this misir wot without niter kibbeh (clarified butter) I found this recipe that you might want to try out!
Serving Misir Wot
Ethiopian food is served using a big pancake-like bread, topped with different dishes, like the lentils and doro wat (chicken stew). This bread called injera is used as a spoon. Yeah! you get to eat it with your hands!
If you don't have time to make injera, serve it with some rice.
Recipes you might like:
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Misir Wot (Ethiopian Spicy Lentils)
- 1 cup red lentils
- 4 cups water
- 1 red onions, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons spiced butter (niter kibbeh)
- 1-1/2 tablespoons berbere
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground green cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- salt to taste
- In a medium saucepan, cook lentils with 4 cups of water. About 10 minutes or until soft. Don't drain.
- Add the onions to a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until water evaporates, about 10 minutes, taking care not to burn them. You may need to reduce the heat as the onions dry out. Add spiced butter and simmer on low for about 5 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, and spices. Simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, adding water if it starts sticking to the pan.
- Add onion mixture to the lentils and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. Add water if necessary. It should have the consistency of a stew. Add salt to taste.
I’m wondering…can we make this recipe for less people?? I know we can but it’s because of the quantity of water that I’m wondering . If I want to make it for 1 person how do I make it?
This look delish please help me.
Hi. Yes, you can divide the ingredients by 4. The tricky part is going to be with the spices. I hope my suggestion is good.
1/4 cup red lentils
1 cup water
This part, I'll leave it to your taste. Use whatever amount you would use for making a stew
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon spiced butter (niter kibbeh)
and start with 1/2 teaspoon berbere or even 1/4 teaspoon, try it and see if you want more.
I suggest you mix these spices in a little jar with those amounts. Use 1/4 teaspoon of the spice mixture and keep the rest for another time.
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground black cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground green cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
and then salt to taste.
I hope that helps.
Also follow up question, it's 215 kcal per serving right?
Hey, I loved this recipe and I wanted to add it to my regular meals, are you sure the calorie count is correct?
Hello! I'm so glad to hear you like this recipe 🙂 I don't remember what app I used to calculate the calories at that time. I just checked on https://happyforks.com/, since is the one I've been using in the last year, and it says 160 calories per portion. Just know that I'm not a dietitian. You can find different sites where you can paste the ingredients and it will tell you the calories.
Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
This sounds so tasty and full of flavour! Can't wait to give this a try.
This looks so delicious and yummy! I can't wait to make this delicious recipe!
This lentil dish is a comfort food dream!
This is proper comfort food and the spices work so well together.
Totally delicious! You can tell just by looking at the list of the ingredients that this is going to be packed with flavour. Thanks for sharing!
Love this recipe!! I make one similar, but I put it on flatbread with goat cheese 🙂
That sounds like an amazing combo! I'll give it a try 🙂
I've never had flavors like this before, but they were so good!
I'm glad you liked it.
Jas @ All that's Jas
That dish looks so inviting. I'd love to scoop it up with naan bread.
Yes! naan would go so well with this stew.
Renee | The Good Hearted Woman
Such a savory, delicious dish! I'm intrigued by the mekelesha: it seems to be an interesting blend, along the same lines as garam masala.
Yes, it's like the Ethiopian garam masala 🙂
This is a very tasty dish! Thanks for sharing! I love lentils.
I'm glad you enjoyed it 🙂
I love lentils and these sound marvelous. All those spices just work beautifully together...I can only imagine how delicious this dish is. So comforting too!
😊 😋 🥣