This recipe was built around the fact that I found a Berbere Spice blend that I'd been hunting down for a while. I went to Spice and Tea Merchants in S. Asheville for their berbere; Berbere is an Ethiopian spice mix of chilies, cardamom, ginger, paprika, fenugreek, and cumin. Some can be quite hot, so choose wisely in accordance to your taste. I would rate this spice blend as a 6 on the heat scale (from 1-10). Following is a recipe with an Ethiopian flare. I have adapted it from Naturally Ella.
Berbere Black Lentil Stew - serves 4
1 TB olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 TB minced fresh ginger
3-4 TB of Berbere spice
1 cup dry black lentils
2 cups vegetable broth or bone broth
1-2 cups water
1/2 cup tomato sauce
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
Yogurt for serving/topping
Cilantro, chopped for serving/topping
Procedure: In a large, heavy-bottomed pot (I like Le Creusets), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion. Cook until the onion is translucent - about 6 minutes. Add in the ginger and saute for another minute.
Measure in 3 TB of the Berbere spice blend and stir to coat the onions and ginger. Add in the black lentils, then the vegetable broth and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then quickly reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook about 25 minutes. Check and stir on occasion, adding water if needed (I didn't need to).
When the lentils are mostly tender, stir in the tomato sauce and lemon juice. Cook for another 10 minutes until the lentils are the right consistency (should be soft, not mushy). Taste and add anymore seasoning that's needed (squeeze of lemon, more berbere, or sea salt).
Serve immediately, topped with chopped cilantro and a bit of yogurt.
Insights and Inspirations on nutrition, food, wellness, recipes, and more! All posts by Jaime Frinak.