Ethiopian Red Lentils

My cousin is visiting me from Israel and she loves Ethiopian food. We went to check out some great Ethiopian cuisine in Portland and I fell in love with it. It is somehow similar to Indian cuisine, but the spice combination is different. The slow cooked stews are main In the Ethiopian cuisine. You eat the different stews with ingera which is a sour type "pancake" made out of Teff flour, which is a gluten free grain. I find that you either like it or not. I believe that it's an acquired taste and even if you don't like the ingera, you can still enjoy the stews along with rice. 

The key to the Ethiopian recipes is the spice blend which calls Berbere. You add it as a base to almost every recipe.

Here is a red lentil stew, probably one of my favorite stews not only because it is so comforting but also because it is so healthy and good for us. Red lentils are good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K.  Rich in dietary fiber, lean protein, folate and iron. Lentils can lower your risk of many serious medical problems.

Try this easy recipe and let me know your thoughts.



2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

1 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons berbere spice blend

2 cups lentils

6 cups water

4 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon agave





Take a wide pot and add olive oil, garlic, ginger, onion, berbere , Saute for a few minutes, then add lentils, water, tomato paste, agave, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then lower to simmer, and cook until the lentils are nice and soft. About 30 minutes. 

Serve warm.