Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mesir Wat (Ethiopian Red Lentils) Recipe

     I really enjoy Ethiopian food.  I often visit the Blue Nile Restaurant here in Columbus and Abay in Pittsburgh, but I really want to learn to cook it myself.  This recipe is mostly the same as the one found here, but I removed some of the oil and cut the recipe in half.  
     *Top Tip: Heat the leftovers and wrap them in a tortilla with some cheese.  It's a really great midnight snack.

1 onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ginger, peeled and minced
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon Paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
2 cups vegetable stock
Salt and pepper (to taste)


Puree the onion, garlic and ginger in a blender or food processor. Add a little water if necessary.

Spray a saucepan with cooking spray and heat over a medium flame. Add turmeric, paprika and cayenne pepper and stir rapidly for about 30 seconds to toast the spices. (Make sure that you have your spices ready. I put in my paprika and watched it burn as I tried to open the turmeric container.  The smell of burned paprika is not pleasant, and it kind of hurts the sinuses).

Add the onion puree and sauté until the excess moisture evaporates and the onion loses its raw aroma. Do not burn. It takes about 5-10 minutes.

Add lentils and vegetable stock to the saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until lentils are cooked through and fall apart, about 30 to 40 minutes. Add more water to keep the lentils from drying out, if necessary.

Stir in salt and pepper to taste and serve. (Add a little more salt than you think you need, it really makes a difference).


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