October 20, 2008

Ethiopian Spicy Tomato Lentil Stew

by IsaChandra

Serves 6 – 8

My first foray into Ethiopian cooking was magical but this dish was the big hit. I usually frind my own spices for this but this is a quicker version. Serve with rice, polenta or injera bread.

1 cup brown lentils
1 large yellow onion, diced small
2 carrots, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, miced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1/4 cup peanut oil (vegetable oil will do)
10 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 cup vegetable stock or 1 cup water + 2 veg boullion cubes
1 cup frozen green peas

Spice Blend
2 tsp ground cumin
2 teaspoons hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cardomom
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)

Boil the lentils for about 45 minutes or until tender.

In a large pot, over med heat saute the onions and carrots for 10 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and spice blend. Saute 5 more minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, cook 5 more minutes. Add tomato paste and mix, then add the water. Simmer Until bubbling. Add the cooked lentils and green peas, simmer 15 more minutes.

  • October 25, 2010 at 4:00 am: emmalish

    Just made this tonight. It’s my first foray into Ethiopian food, so I was a little unsure. But it’s fantastic. I’ve been looking for that go-to lentil stew recipe for ages. I think this may be it! Thanks for posting!

  • November 9, 2010 at 2:11 am: Galvetraz

    Very yummy! The husband loved it!

  • December 3, 2010 at 12:00 am: Judith

    This is an amazing recipe! Absolutely delicious, although left out the cayenne pepper and fenugreek because I don’t like them. It tastes even better the next day when all the flavors meld together. I have never tasted anything like this. So flavorful. yum!

  • December 31, 2010 at 11:54 pm: Donna

    LOVE this. Decreased the fenugreek by half, and used 1 1/2 cups lentils. Didn’t have fresh tomatoes so used to cans of diced ones. Added a little frozen corn – the lentils and peas and corn looked very congruent and colorful. Decreased oil to 2 T coconut oil. FABULOUS recipe. Even my picky-eater 9-year-old boy likes it!

  • March 13, 2011 at 6:42 pm: ella

    Sounds very tasty. How long will this keep in the refrigerator?

  • April 23, 2011 at 4:26 pm: Brenda

    I’ve made this twice and it’s been a big hit each time! As to Ella’s question…I usually don’t keep something like this longer than 3 days, but I would suggest freezing the left-overs if you have way too much.

  • April 26, 2011 at 3:52 am: Laura

    This was fantastic. Husband loved it, toddler loved it, I loved it (rare). It’s a keeper! I added chopped mint and cilantro.

  • April 28, 2011 at 8:06 pm: Joe Maltese

    Not sure whether this is really a soup the average Ethiopian cooks or eats! For exampel where would an Ethiopian get fresh ginger from?

  • May 27, 2011 at 3:47 am: Sean

    To Joe:

    ummmm, probably at the local Safeway or Trader Joe’s.

  • July 3, 2011 at 2:57 am: Ras Micah

    I just did this and it was delicious. I remember eating something like this when i was a child. I added scotch bonnet peppers (jamaican) and it brought out all the flavors, it was fantastic. Thanks for this recipe

  • July 3, 2011 at 5:18 am: V

    My partner introduced me to Ethiopian food this year, I’m now addicted to it. This may not be a traditional dish but it sounds delish. I will be making it for dinner! Thanks

  • September 9, 2011 at 12:30 am: Zainil Zainuddin

    This is an amazing dish. A friend made it for a potluck lunch last Saturday. We were going to have a working bee to try and get the veggie patch going but we got too busy eating. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It will be added to the favourite dish list.

    BTW, when and if you figure out how to make a vegan meringue, do share. I am a vegetarian 20% of the time and vegan the rest of the time.

  • November 12, 2011 at 8:23 pm: Sally McArthur

    I have always used this recipe, and liked it a lot. It’s been passed down from generation to generation. I’m also glad that the local McDonalds here in Mason City, Iowa has been is doing a variation of it. It’s pretty darn close to the original. They call it the McEthiopian. It’s one of the more popular orders there, and I know this for sure because I was talking to the manager, and he said, “Sally, (that’s my name), this is one of the more popular orders here.” I replied to him with my toothiest smile, “Well, I’m mighty glad to hear it!” He simply said “Have a nice day, Sally!” and walked away. I’ve always liked that guy. He’s got a lot of spunk.

  • December 6, 2011 at 1:07 pm: Richard

    I make a big batch of this and freeze the leftovers….great recipe.

  • December 8, 2011 at 3:19 am: Jessie

    I waited to post about this recipe–I made this last night, and was hoping for that amazingly smooshy tastiness that I’ve experienced in Ethopian restaurants. I think it did need to sit over night and let the flavors meld a bit–the cold sample that I had this evening was so much better. Will make again, but wait a few hours to eat.

  • December 9, 2011 at 6:55 pm: Michele

    Have you come up with a recipe for injera?

  • January 12, 2012 at 7:15 pm: Rhian

    I love this. Make it every week, always scrummy. The instruction for ‘miced garlic’ always makes me chuckle, when I imagine Disney helper mice coming to help me, like a Mary Poppins/Snow White escapade :)

  • April 24, 2012 at 6:05 pm: Sunshine

    This might be an absolutely ridiculous question but do I add 1 cup of cooked lentils or 1 cup of uncooked lentils that have been cooked? <3

  • October 22, 2012 at 6:08 pm: Yemesrach

    As an Ethiopian born and breed, I can say that is a Western take on a traditional dish called Kik Wett.
    For Joe Maltese, just in case you didnt know ginger grows in Ethiopia as well. If you look up the history its considered an “oriental” spice meaning it was brought from the East to the West. Ethiopia was and has been part of the Indo/China/Mid East spice trade.

  • November 16, 2012 at 5:04 pm: Maggie

    This is Mouth Wow! What a gorgeous lentil dish. I bought good quality, low salt canned plum tomatoes and used all the broth as cooking liquid for the lentils. Don’t skimp on or skip any of the spices because they are the making of the dish. You can make this no fat by using broth to saute the veg and it affects the taste and texture nary a whit. i found a great recipe for injera here (http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/bread/recipe-injera.html) but it needs to be made days ahead to ferment properly. Then use the cooked injera to line the bowl before ladling the stew into it. Yummy! Recipes like this make me Glad I’m Vegan.

  • December 1, 2012 at 3:18 pm: leatha

    fenugreek is not easy to find, but this recipe is well worth it. sooooo yummy! (especially with home grown tomatoes) this time around i think i’ll add some greens to it.

  • December 22, 2012 at 9:15 pm: Rhian

    @Sunshine When I make this I cook one cup of lentils, then add those. So, the latter :-)

  • December 31, 2012 at 9:36 pm: cathy

    excellent recipe…i did not have allspice so that got left out…the only thing for me was the carrots weren’t cooked enough..so next time i may pre cook them a little or dice them smaller…really tasty thanks :)

  • October 7, 2013 at 10:58 pm: Brenda

    I have made this recipe so many times and continue to love it! Thank you for sharing it with us!

  • May 9, 2014 at 10:44 pm: ori

    The Ethiopian cuisine Offers a wide range of Surprising dishes:

    Breads such as:
    injera , dabo and ambasha.

    Pulse dishes such as:
    Yekik alicha – yellow split peas with turmeric sauce
    Azifa – mashed lentils and red onion
    kik wat -red lentils in berbere sauce

    Porridge such as:
    Baso – sweet Barley porridge
    Kincha – Spiced wheat porridge, served hot

    Beverages such as:
    Tila – bitter beer with an amber colore (home made)
    Avish – soft drink made from fenugreek and honey

    You can get Ethiopian spices for those dishes on: http://www.themiddleeastspice.com
    For only 2.99$ per 4oz of spice

  • August 6, 2014 at 12:09 pm: que es el pimples vulgaris

    If you suffer from regular breakouts, you should increase how many times you cleanse your face
    each day. , the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

    You can use it for chapped lips, dry skin, and anything else you would normally use petroleum jelly for.

  • August 16, 2014 at 10:31 am: Diane

    I am going to use this as a stuffing for a very large 8-ball zucchini I scored at the garden. Can’t wait!

  • August 22, 2014 at 7:37 am: Vivienne

    Would mushrooms suit?

  • December 16, 2014 at 3:08 am: Jamie

    This turned out amazing! I’m going to take some into work to share tomorrow!

  • June 12, 2016 at 6:47 pm: danny

    One of my favourite recipes ever, been using this for years now! Only modification is to add bell peppers & fennel instead of the green peas. I serve with Polenta or add potatoes and serve as a single dish. Also sour cream works well with it for non vegans.