Misir Wot - Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew #EatTheWorld

Go to any Ethiopian restaurant and you will be presented with a large plate covered in spongy injera with a variety of different dishes arranged on top.  So when Evelyne at CulturEatz announced this months challenge for Eat the World was Ethiopia I was really excited. I love the food, but it's not something I have tried cooking at home, despite buying a large bag of berbere that's been sitting in my cabinet neglected for months.

I'd had Together: Our Community Cookbook on my Amazon wish list for a few weeks when Christmas came around and I needed a gift exchange gift, thankfully it was a group of foodies. So I ordered the book. And loved it. I may or may not have cooked with it once or twice before going to my party. My 12 year old daughter ended up really liking it to, so much so in fact I ordered it for her for Christmas.

There is one Ethiopian recipe in the book. And added bonus I already had everything I needed for the dish. When it was time to eat I was worried it would be spicy and wondering if I should have cut the recipe in half. I needn't have worried. My son, who is 6 said "I can't resist this, it's too awesome". And my daughter who the book actually belongs to said we need to find more Ethiopian recipes. I guess that happens when kids are raised by a foodie. Side note, my son was talking about his favorite foods last week and this is the list he came up with "tepenade, chiriboga, pizza, peanut butter sandwich, root beer candy canes, sambousek, and fried chicken".

So when I said I had all the ingredients on had what I really meant was I had most of the ingredients on hand and enough things around to sub in for what I didn't. The first thing I want to mention is the ginger. I didn't have any fresh ginger and powdered isn't quite the same. It's not as fresh and tangy, which makes sense, it's literally the opposite of fresh. I made a paste out of it with lemon juice and it's a passable sub. the second thing was what to eat it with. Since it was lunch on a snow day we just ate it like a dip with corn chips, and they ate it all and were sad when it was gone. Injera would be the most authentic but over rice for dinner would be delightful too.

1/4 c. oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. ginger powder
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, mined
1 Tbsp. berbere
1 1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. red lentils
3 - 1 1/2 c. water

Heat the oil in a medium pot. Add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the berbere and stir, cook and make sure the onions are coated. Add the garlic andtomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. 

Meanwhile combine the ginger and lemon paste and allow to sit for a minute or two. Add the ginger paste, water, lentils, and salt to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer gently until the lentils are tender, about 30 - 40 minutes depending on your lentils. 

Serve with injera, over rice, or corn chips

Check out all the wonderful Ethiopian dishes prepared by fellow Eat the World members and share with #eattheworld. Click here to find out how to join and have fun exploring a country a month in the kitchen with us!

Sue: Ethiopian Beef Tibs 
Amy: Buticha - Ethiopian Hummus 
Syama: Himbasha - Ethiopian Spiced Bread 
Evelyne: Flavor-Packed Ethiopian Shekla Tibs 
Lynda: Tikel Gomen (Ethiopian Cabbage & Potatoes) 
Wendy: Doro Wat and Atkilt 
Camilla: Ye’abesha Gomen (Ethiopian Collard Greens)
Margaret: An Ethiopian Meal with Misir Wat, Signi Wat, Gomen Wat, and Speedy Injera Flatbread


  1. Wow you had berbere at home lol, I had to make mine. Love this dish wish I could try it now!

  2. Hah, I have Berbere in the cupboard too and then I ended up making this while on vacation so had to make my own. Your Misr Wot sounds delicious.

  3. Wow - I am so impressed by the list of foods your son rattled off! There are two things on there I've never even tasted (the chiriboga and sambousek)! You are definitely raising a few foodies there. Awesome!

    1. I highly recommend the chiriboga, its such a delightful cheese.

  4. This looks so delicious - I love the tip about freshening up ground ginger! I definitely need to add berbere to my spice collection, too.

  5. I made the mistake of making misir wot in the pressure cooker . The red lentils needed more gentle tratment :-). Yours look perfectly cooked.
    I love the communal feel of Ethiopian dinner table - my kids not so much. Here is the funny thing though, when I serve the dishes individually they just lap it up !

  6. I love a variety of foods--and your selection looks wonderful. I am thinking my daughter would love this too!


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