I’m sure you were all waiting with bated breath and (eyes glazed from screen exhaustion) for what Ethiopian recipe I had prepared for you this Friday. Because really, I couldn’t just give you a little Niter Kibbeh tease without completing the task at hand… er.. spoon..?
But seriously, I am here to resolve all unrequited Ethiopian food love with this little gem of a recipe: Misir Wot (Ethiopian Red Lentils).Ethiopian cuisine is one of the few cuisines that I actually truly prefer the vegetarian components. (Because nearly ever other time I’m eating vegetables it’s mostly out of guilt and masochistic self- discipline…lol, I kid.) But really, if you’ve ever had shiro, I think you’ll understand what I mean when I say I could drink a gallon of that stuff in one sitting.
Shiro is definitely my favorite dish to order when going out for Ethiopian, but the Misir Wot comes in as a close second. The red lentils are stewed with aromatics like garlic and onions. Ginger is added for an additional punch of flavor. And the rest is up to the sensational seasoning powers of berbere spice and niter kibbeh. So I promise you, that although these photos look like small little puddles of baby poo artfully mounded on injera bread, they are actually crave-ably delicious legumes, seasoned to perfection, and just waiting to be lapped up by me, myself, and I (or Erwin).
Side note- at Ethiopian restaurants they often will serve a small green salad in the center of the injera and surround the lettuce with the curries or “wots” as they are referred to in Ethiopia. The salad is very simple and made up of fresh romaine, sliced tomatoes and red onions. The dressing that I used is 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons of oil, and a little hit of salt and pepper. Whisk it together and toss it with the greens. I also sprinkled on some sliced serrano chiles, just because I had them on hand, but feel free to skip this if you don’t want the extra heat.Oh and for anyone who is wondering- I did not make the injera myself, I usually go to my local Ethiopian grocer to get my injera. I also suspect that you could call up your local Ethiopian restaurants in your area to see if you can purchase some of their injera to go.
Misir Wot (Ethiopian Red Lentils)
- 2 cups red lentils
- 2 medium onions chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 3-4 tablespoons berbere
- 1/4 cup niter kibbeh
- Salt to taste
- Rinse lentils until water runs clear.
- Saute chopped onions in a dry pan for about 7-8 minutes over medium heat, or until lightly golden.
- Add niter kibbeh, garlic, ginger, and berbere and saute for 1 minute more.
- Add ½ cup water and simmer until onions soften and oil separates from mixture.
- Add lentils and 3 cups of water. Bring to boil then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring intermittently, until lentils are fully cooked.
- Taste and add salt as needed.
- Optional- stir about ½-3/4 cup of water at the end of cooking if you prefer a thinner misir wot.