Creamy Ethiopian Lentils

It is no secret that I am a sucker for new and different spices.  I absolutely love experimenting with different flavors in the kitchen.  My spice cabinet may be an avalanche waiting to happen but that won't prevent me from snatching up an exotic spice, given the opportunity!  While I have an abundance of different spices, I do make sure to use them all before they expire.  It is a challenge that I give myself and one I happily accept because it forces me to try different recipes and create my own!   

A few months ago, I spotted a spice called Berbere in our local Whole Foods.  For those that don't know, Berbere is an Ethiopian spice...a curry packed with heat.  Of course I had to add it to my collection regardless of the fact that I had no clue what to do with it or what it even tasted like (that is what Pinterest is for!).  Once I got home, I scoured the internet for recipes until I found a really good one.  I now make this recipe from The Wanderlust Kitchen almost weekly!  I have made some slight changes but overall the recipe is the same.  This is just the perfect one pot meal for Fall.  If you can, make it the day before you serve it because, like a stew, it tastes even better the next day!  It really gives the flavors a chance to develop and meld together.  This dish also freezes really well so if you have leftovers, save them for another time!

Creamy Ethiopian Lentils

2 Tbsp. of coconut oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
Himalayan salt
1-2 Tbsp. Berbere spice (I prefer Frontier brand for this dish)
2 large yams, peeled and diced
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 cup of brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
3 cups of water
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled
4 cups of frozen organic whole leaf spinach
1 (14 oz) can light coconut milk


In a large dutch oven, heat the oil over medium, add the onions, and sprinkle with salt. When the onions begin to brown, add the Berbere and garlic.  After a minute, add the yams and stir to coat them in the spice mixture.  Add the lentils and broth.  Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the yams can be cut with a fork but haven’t turned to mush.  Add the tomatoes and then grate your ginger directly into the pot. Let the mixture cook for another 3 minutes or so over low heat, then stir in your coconut milk and spinach.  Cook for another 10-15 minutes.  Serve over your rice of choice (I love Basmati) and enjoy!  

Photos by Becky Loves Cooking


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