Messer Wot (Red Lentil Stew)by Beejhy Barhany
A quick, easy, and filling stew with a delicious spice mix. Comfort food at its finest (and healthiest)!
For the berbere spice mix
1 cup chili powder or hot paprika
½ tablespoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon granulate onion
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ tablespoon ground nutmeg
½ tablespoon ground fenugreek seed
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
For the stew
2 cups red lentils, sorted
2 red onions, peeled
2 white onions, peeled and chopped
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled
1 cup oil
2 tablespoons berbere spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 – 6-ounce can tomato paste
4 cups water
- To make the berbere spice, sift and mix together all ingredients.
- Puree onions, garlic, and ginger in food processor.
- In a large pan sauté your onion, garlic, and ginger in oil. Cook until softened, for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add tomato paste, ½ cup water, berbere spice, and salt. Cook for 15 minutes while stirring; reduce heat.
- Rinse lentils and add to pan; stir and bring to a boil; cover and simmer the lentils, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes until the lentils are soft. Add water as needed.
- Add salt to taste.
- Serve with injera (Ethiopian flatbread) or rice.
- Beejhy is the owner and chef of Tsion Cafe, an Ethiopian cafe in Harlem, New York City.
- She is also the founder of The Beta Israel of North America (BINA) Cultural Foundation.