Ethiopian Spiced Lentil Stew

If you read my ‘About page’ you’ll know that I have a globe at home that I spin for inspiration. I started this practice, oh about 2 years ago (the first place I spun the globe was in an expensive home furnishings store..hehe) and this was the recipe I made then, and have made often since. Ethiopian food rocks!

Total time: 1 1/2 hours (or 20 minutes if using a pressure cooker!)

Ethiopian Lentils

3/4 c yellow split peas (chana daal), soaked for 30 minutes
1 x 14oz can chopped tomatoes
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup red onion chopped
1/2 cup fennel chopped (optional)
1 cup frozen butternut squash
1-2 cups chicken stock
1-2 tsp Berebere spice mix
1 tsp ginger/garlic paste
1/4 cup cooking oil
2 tsp whole flax seed (optional)
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish

Heat oil and saut̩ onions and fennel until softened, add in the rest of the ingredients (except flax seed and coriander leaves), bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 1.5 Р2 hours until lentils are softened (they will retain a slight bite due to the acidic nature of the tomatoes). Toast flax seeds in a dry pan for a minute (as soon as they start to pop, take the pan off the heat) and grind, sprinkle into the stew (flax seeds add even more fibre and are flavourless!). Garnish with coriander and serve.

Berebere Mix
This is a traditional Ethiopian Mix – just grind all the spices together. I usually leave out the ginger root and make sure to add ginger to the stews whenever I use the mix.

2 teaspoons cumin seeds or powdered cumin
1 teaspoon cardamom seed (shell off husks) or cardamom powder
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice (or ground)
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (or powder)
1 teaspoon coriander seed (or powder)
8 whole cloves or ground cloves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns or freshly ground peppercorn
4 teaspoons red pepper flakes or crumbled dried red peppers
1 tablespoon grated fresh gingerroot (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sweet paprika (can use hot)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tsp cayenne pepper