The heat in this deeply satisfying red lentil dish—called misir wat in Amharic, the language of Ethiopia—comes mainly from berbere, the ground Ethiopian spice blend that includes chile pepper, cardamom, coriander, ajwain and fenugreek. Slideshow: Fantastic Lentil Recipes 

Food & Wine
November 2012

Gallery

© John Kernick

Recipe Summary

active:
25 mins
total:
1 hr
Yield:
8
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until they are softened and just starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, berbere, nigella seeds, cardamom and a generous pinch each of salt and black pepper and cook until fragrant and deeply colored, about 10 minutes.

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  • Add the red lentils with 8 cups of water to the casserole and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the lentils have cooked downand thickened, 25 minutes. Season the lentils with salt and pepper. Ladle the lentils into bowls, sprinkle with berbere and serve.

Make Ahead

The cooked lentils can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat the dish gently before serving.

Suggested Pairing

Spiced, lively Italian white.