Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew with Berbere

  • Mar, 16 , 22
  • Shawna Shanahan


  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 medium size onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. Ethiopian Berbere Spice
  • Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils, dry
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt



Cook’s note: The traditional Ethiopian berbere spice blend is formed into a paste by mixing it with oil; it is not a must but this process can add more concentrated flavor to the dish.


In a deep stew-pot, heat up the oil. Add chopped onion and sauté on a medium high heat for 10 minutes. Add chopped ginger and garlic and sauté for about five minutes on medium heat. Add Ethiopian Berbere Spice and sauté until fragrant. Add chopped tomatoes and sauté on high heat for 12 minutes. Add dry lentils and sauté for a few minutes than add water and salt. Reduce the heat and simmer on low for 20 minutes – gently stirring to prevent burning. The stew should be thick; if you have extra liquid please uncover and cook for 10 minutes in order to reduce the water. Tastes great served over rice and eaten with flatbread as a substitute for the traditional injera bread.