eat well, live free

Ethiopian lentil stew

With a foundation of vegetables, legumes and serious spice, exploring the Ethiopian palate has created a playground for me in my kitchen. Lentils, split peas, black eyed peas, garbanzo beans all take on new forms and a new life when they are pulverized, mashed and stewed.

My love affair with Ethiopian cuisine came at a time in my life when I was struggling with weight and the loss of comforting foods. The foods are so explosive with flavor and most dishes can be or are already made vegan.

Marcos and I had another couple over for dinner this weekend and we served three basic Ethiopian dishes: lentil stew, warm cabbage with tumeric and a vegetable chili curry. We served it on injera, the spongy slightly sour pancake bread on platters to share- with no silverware. We had a total of two plates to wash up after dinner!

This fantastic recipe was adapted from The Soul of a New Cuisine by Marcus Samuelsson. I found a sparkling used signed copy of it in a New York City booked store!

Ethiopian lentil stew

1 c lentils, soaked in cold water for 2 hours
2 tbls olive oil
1 med red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 lemons, juiced
2tsp berbere (Ethiopian spice blend sold at specialty food markets and African restaurants) or chilli powder
2 tbls parsley, chopped
salt to taste

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the lentils, simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil and saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Stir in the remaining ingredients until thoroughly combined.

Served with injera, this Ethiopian bread can be purchased for a dollar a sheet from African restaurants.

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