Ethiopian Red Lentils

Recipe Author: 
Kathy Pollard

This dish exemplifies how the plant-based diet can expand the standard Western palette with exotic ethnic tastes! 
Lovely pinkish red lentils don’t hold their shape when cooked and become thick and saucy, like a thick soup or stew. 

  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 C red lentils
  • about 6 C water
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • Salt or soy sauce to taste (OPTIONAL)
  • ½ C Berbere spice

Berbere Spice Mix:

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne (only if you want the heat)
  • ½ tablespoon powdered ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 2 cloves ground garlic or 1 tsp powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon paprika

Mix together the Berbere spice mix in a small bowl.
Sauté onion in a pan coated in a bit of water or broth until soft, over medium-low heat. Place lentils in the pan, along with 2 cups water, and simmer until tender, about 10 – 15 minutes . Add Berbere mixture, tomato paste, and 2 cups more water to the pan. Cook until soft and thick, stirring constantly after reaching a simmer. Add more water if needed to keep from sticking, and continue cooking and stirring for about 10 minutes until desired thickness. 
Serve over a bed of brown rice.
Suggestion: Make a large batch of Berbere spice mix to have on hand for the next time.

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