Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Easy Ethiopian Lentil Stew

An easy, fragrant stew; allow yourself 1 1/2 hours to prepare, but most of this will be waiting time.  You can cut the cooking time by replacing the water and dried lentils with a can of cooked lentils in a pinch; just delete step 3 and add after the carrots and potatoes are finished.

In the absence of berbere, and if you don't have time to mix up your own, try substituting your favorite curry - the taste will be different, but also delicious!


1 Tbsp  canola oil
2  red onions, chopped
3  garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp  berbere spice mix 
1 cup water
2 veggie bouillon cubes, low salt
1  cup  dried small red lentils, rinsed
1 20 oz can diced tomatoes
2 medium carrots, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1 potato, cubed into 1/2 inch cubes
salt to taste
1/4  cup  finely chopped fresh cilantro (optional) for garnish


1.  In a medium pot, heat oil. Reduce to medium low heat, then add diced onion. Saute for about six minutes, until beginning to get transluscent (not brown), then add garlic.  Continue to saute for four more minutes.  Add berbere. Mix and allow spice to heat through until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes.

2.  Add water, bouillon, tomatoes, and lentils. Simmer for 30 minutes.

3.  Add carrots, potatoes, and salt.  Cook until all are soft, about another 20 minutes.  Taste and add more berbere, salt, or cayenne pepper if desired.

4.  Serve with flatbread or basmati rice, and garnish with the fresh cilantro if desired.

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