We love Ethiopian food at home. I have been challenging myself to make more of it, but first I had to stock up my pantry with all the goodies. My go to source for all spice blends in this recipe has always been Brundo. Their spice blends are authentic and wonderful.
I remember the first time we had this wonderful cuisine. All of us ate from the same platter, the injera that had soaked up the stews penetrating it with flavor, and with the cold beer, I was hooked.
This stew is one that pops with flavor. It is quite simple to make and is wonderful as a side with anything.
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1 1/4 cup red lentils
3-4 tablespoons oil
2 medium red or yellow onions, finely diced
1/2 tablespoon garlic, finely diced
1 tablespoons Berbere paste, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds
1/2 teaspoon Mekelesha spice powder (2 teaspoons cinnamon powder, 1/2 teaspoon each clove powder, ground black pepper, and ground cardamom)
Salt to taste
Soak the lentils overnight. Cook in 1 1/2 cups water till soft, about 20 minutes. Alternatively, cook in a pressure cooker with 1 1/2 cups water.
Add the oil to a pot and saute the onions on medium heat till soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the nigella seeds and Berbere powder and cook on low for 10 minutes. Add water i needed to prevent the spices from burning. the resulting paste should be fragrant and well colored.
Add lentils and salt, and simmer gently for 10 minutes. at this stage you can mush the lentils a bit with the spoon. The final gravy should be rich and thick. top with the Mekelesha spice powder.