Mesir W'et - Spicy Ethiopian Lentil Stew
1 cup dried red lentils
1 onion, chopped
1-3 cloves garlic, minced
oil, for frying
2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
1 tablespoon berbere or an additional 1 tablespoon paprika or 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
sea salt and pepper, to taste
1. Soak lentils for at least an hour in water. Drain and rinse and set aside. Saute onions and garlic in oil until golden.
2. Add broth or water. Add spices and tomato paste. When gently boiling, add lentils.
3. Turn down heat and simmer until lentils are tender and it's a thick stew, adding more liquid if needed. Serve with rice, Injera bread or pita bread.
This is a recipe that I've tweaked to perfection and everyone asks me to bring to any potluck or party. If you can find a market that sells berere (a spice blend) it will taste more authentic. You can find recipes for the spice blend online or see the recipe for substitutes if you are in a hurry. This is usually served with injera, a flat pancake like bread. If you can't find that you could serve this with rice or pita bread.