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Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew with Berbere

Ingredients

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 medium size onion, chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp Ethiopian berbere spice blend
5 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cups Red lentils, dry
2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp sea salt

Cooks note: The traditional Ethiopian berbere spice blend is formed into a paste by mixing it with oil; it is not a must but this process can add more concentrated flavor to the dish.

In a deep stew-pot, heat up the oil. Add chopped onion and saute on a medium high heat for 10 minutes. Add chopped ginger and garlic and saute for about five minutes on medium heat. Add Ethiopian berbere spice mix and saute until fragrant. Add chopped tomatoes and saute on high heat for 12 minutes. Add dry lentils and saute for a few minutes than add water and salt. Reduce the heat and simmer on low for 20 minutes gently stirring to prevent burning.

The stew should be thick; if you have extra liquid please uncover and cook for 10 minutes in order to reduce the water.

Tastes great served over rice and eaten with flatbread as a substitute for the traditional injera bread.