Misir Wat – Ethiopian Spiced Red Lentils
Recipe by: Mahlet Mamo, National Account Manager, Jobversity, Upwardly Global
- 2 cups red lentils
- 3 medium yellow onions, ﬁnely chopped
- 4 small clove garlic, ﬁnely chopped
- 3 small tomatoes, cored and chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 tablespoons Berbere* (Ethiopian Spice Mix)
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
*Berbere is a hot spice blend that is an integral ingredient in Ethiopian cuisine.
- Place lentils in a large bowl and ﬁll with cold water. Massage lentils with your hands to remove any dirt or debris. Rinse lentils until the water runs clear. This may require several rinses. Soak lentils in lukewarm water for approximately 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add onions and olive oil to a large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until onions are golden brown.
- Add chopped garlic and tomatoes and cook for another 6 to 8 minutes.
- Strain the soaked lentils in a sieve and allow to drain for a few minutes. Add the lentils, reduce the heat to medium, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes
- Add Berbere and continue to cook until the Berbere is fully combined with the onion, garlic, tomato and lentil mixture, about 15 to 20 minutes. While mixing the Berbere, continue stirring and keep two cups of hot water next to you. When the mixture starts to get too thick, add the hot water slowly and with intervals while stirring at the same time.
- When lentils are tender and well done, you will get a creamy sauce with a thick consistency. This indicates it is time to add the ﬁnal three cups of hot water and mix well. Reduce the heat to low and stir occasionally until the mixture is well boiled.
- Add ground nutmeg and boil the stew for another two minutes.
- Add sea salt for the ﬁnal touch.
TO FINISH THE DISH:
All Ethiopian sauces or stews are served with ‘Injera’ to make it a complete dish. Injera is made from teff, an ancient grain that’s native to Ethiopia. Teff ﬂour is mixed with water until it becomes a batter. It’s left to ferment, giving it a signature sour ﬂavor, and then fried like a pancake in large circles. The teff grain has several different shades of color that inﬂuence the color of the ﬁnal product. Spread the injera out ﬂat out over a communal or individual plate, and topped with the Misir Wat.