Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew

The Monster zoned in on this recipe from the current issue of Cooking Light and I had to agree it looked good. Aside from difficulties in finding Berbere spice, it was a great addition to my recipe trove. If you can't find Berbere, Google online recipes for making your own. Or, just do what I did and buy a spice blend that has pretty much everything you'd need in it and just add the rest of the missing ingredients...in my case it happened to buy a Thai spice blend from Whole Foods to which I added allspice, cinnamon and cloves.

Our collards were spiked with some extra spices too. I think I tossed in tumeric, nutmeg and maybe a little cinnamon? Can't remember, but they were great too. If I'd had a batch of niter-kebbeh made up, I'd have just used that instead.

This was even better the next day...as with so many stews. Would be great to make up a double batch and freeze half. I'm assuming freezing it would work fine, but our leftovers all got eaten up!

Spicy Eithopian Red Lentil Stew:
(Cooking Light May 2010)

2 tsp canola oil
2 cups chopped red onion
1 Tbs minced peeled fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs tomato paste
1 1/2 Tbs Berbere spice
3 cups organic vegetable broth
1 cup dried red lentils
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over med. heat. Add onion to pan; cook 15 minutes until tender (uh yeah...good luck not burning them cooking for that long in that little oil...I think I only cooked them ~10 minutes), stirring occasionally.
Add ginger and garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently (again, good luck cooking this long...just do your best and know it probably won't be 5 minutes).
Stir in tomato paste and Berbere spice; cook 1 minute, stirring to combine.
Gradually add broth, stirring with a whisk until blended. Increase heat to med-high; bring to a simmer.

Rinse the lentils under cold water; drain.
Add lentils to broth mixture; simmer partially covered, 35 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.
Stir in salt.
Sprinkle with cilantro; serve over brown rice, quick injera, or in a pinch...with whole wheat naan bread that you've thawed from your freezer! :-)

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