Ethiopian Red Lentils (Misir Wat)

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This dish, for me, embodies all that Ethiopian cooking is about – big, bold flavours with simple, easy-to-find ingredients. My take on Ethiopian Red Lentils, more traditionally known as Misir Wat, uses the traditional blend Ethiopian Berbere which is packed full of spicy, sweet, and savoury flavour. The lentils are cooked on a low heat until super-tender and fragrant and this simple, flavourful dish can be made so quickly and with just a handful of pantry-staple ingredients.

I like to serve this with some flatbread and a dollop of tangy yoghurt, or in a more traditional Ethiopian way – alongside other curries as part of a platter.

Check out more recipes using this wonderful spice blend:

Doro Wat – Authentic Ethiopian Berbere-Spiced Chicken Stew

Chicken Berbere

Plus! Learn more about types of lentils you can use and how to cook them, check out our blog: What are the Four Types of Lentils You Can Cook?

Spices used in this recipe


  1. Place a heavy-based pot on medium heat. Add in your oil or ghee and when hot, add your onion and saute until nice and soft – about 10 mins. Add in your Berbere spice followed by your garlic, ginger, and tomato paste and cook off until nice and fragrant – about another 2 mins.

  2. Add your lentils in and stir to coat in the spiced mixture. Pour in your stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cover with a lid. Cook on a low heat for about 30 mins, or until the liquid has been soaked up by the lentils and they’re nice and plump and tender.

    Serve with flatbread, alongside other curries, with rice, or a dollop of fresh yoghurt, and enjoy!

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