Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ethiopian Lentil Stew - Messor Wot

You can read the back story and explanations here, but I wanted to be sure this wonderful vegan recipe was also posted here.  If you need gluten free not only is the wot (sometimes written wat) gluten free, but if you can find real injera, check to see if it's 100 percent teff.  Teff is also gluten free.

I buy injera (a fermented flatbread) premade from a local vendor, but often Ethiopian restaurants will sell you an order very reasonably.

I wrap leftovers in injera or other flatbread with mango chutney for a quick lunch.

Messor Wot – Ethiopian Lentil Stew
Serves 6
This is my adaptation of a traditional lentil stew. Berbere is available from some specialty markets and on line. See my post at for a substitution and another vegan Ethiopian inspired recipe. Cooking time is approximate. Sometimes lentils will take longer to cook. Works well made in advance and reheated.

2 red onions, finely chopped
2 Tbs. minced garlic
2 Tbs. plus 2 Tbs. tomato paste
1/3 to ½ cup berbere
¼ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cardamom
½ cup olive oil
4 cups water
1 lb. lentils (green or brown supermarket style)
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
¼ tsp. salt

In a large, heavy pot over medium high heat, add onions (with no oil or other fats), cook until translucent and soft (about 5-10 minutes). Stir if needed or add a bit of hot water if browning. Do not let brown or burn. Add garlic and 2 Tbs. tomato paste. Stir well and cook for a few minutes. Add berbere, ginger and cardamom. Stir and sauté for 5 minutes, adding hot water if needed to keep from sticking or burning. Add oil, stir well, cook for 5 minutes. Add lentils, mix well. Add 4 cups water. Bring to simmer. Cover and simmer until lentils are soft and falling apart, about 35-40 minutes. Sauce should be thick and not at all soupy, but add hot water if needed. Add remaining tomato paste, pepper and salt. Mix well. Let cook a few more minutes. Taste and correct seasoning. Serve with green salad with injera (Ethiopian flat bread), millet or rice.