Africa Vegan Recipes

Authentic Misir Wot-Ethiopian Lentil Stew (Misir Wot) Recipe

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Introduction to Misir Wot:

Misir Wot is a flavorful and aromatic Ethiopian lentil stew known for its rich and spicy taste. This dish is a staple in Ethiopian cuisine and is often enjoyed with injera, a sourdough flatbread that complements the stew’s flavors perfectly. Misir Wot is a vegan and vegetarian-friendly dish that’s both hearty and satisfying. The combination of lentils and a variety of spices creates a depth of flavor that’s truly irresistible.

Cooking Tips:

  • Lentil Selection: Use red or brown lentils for this recipe as they tend to break down and create a creamy consistency that’s characteristic of Misir Wot.
  • Spice Blend: Ethiopian cuisine is known for its unique spice blend called “berbere.” You can either buy berbere spice from a store or make your own using a combination of various spices like paprika, cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and more.
  • Sautéing Onions: Properly sautéing the onions is essential to the depth of flavor in this dish. Cook them until they’re deeply caramelized and almost golden brown.
  • Berbere Spice: Adjust the amount of berbere spice according to your spice tolerance. Start with a smaller amount if you’re sensitive to heat and add more as needed.
  • Injera Pairing: Misir Wot is traditionally served with injera, which not only adds to the experience but also helps balance the spiciness of the stew.


  • 2 cups red or brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons berbere spice (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or water
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish


  1. Sauté the Aromatics:
    • In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat.
    • Add the chopped onion and sauté until caramelized and golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.
    • Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add the Spices:
    • Add the berbere spice, ground cumin, ground coriander, and turmeric to the pot.
    • Stir well to coat the onions and spices with the oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes to toast the spices and enhance their flavors.
  3. Cook the Lentils:
    • Add the rinsed lentils to the pot and mix them with the spice-onion mixture.
    • Pour in the vegetable broth or water, ensuring that the lentils are fully submerged.
    • Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 25-30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  4. Adjust Seasoning:
    • Once the lentils are tender and have absorbed most of the liquid, season the stew with salt to taste. Keep in mind that the berbere spice might already contain some salt.
  5. Final Touches:
    • Continue to simmer the stew for an additional 5-10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. If the stew becomes too thick, you can add a bit more broth or water.
  6. Serving:
    • Serve Misir Wot hot, garnished with chopped fresh cilantro or parsley.
    • Enjoy the stew with injera or your choice of bread, rice, or couscous.

Cooking Time:

  • Preparation: 15 minutes
  • Cooking: 45-50 minutes
  • Total Time: Approximately 1 hour

Note: The cooking time may vary slightly depending on the type of lentils used and your stove’s heat level. Keep an eye on the lentils to ensure they’re cooked to your desired tenderness.

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