Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew

Adapted from the latest issue of Cooking Light.

Note: this recipe calls for Berbere spice mix. This is the recipe I used. I used all dried spices and had everything on hand except fenugreek seeds. I don't even know what those are. Also, if you are using whole spices, i.e. cumin seed, toast first, then grind. I don't have a dedicated spice grinder and use a marble mortar and pestle instead.

1 T canola oil
2 C red onion, medium dice
2 medium-ish squashes (I used yellow summer squash and a zuke), medium dice
1 T ginger, minced or grated (fresh, please)
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 T tomato paste
1 1/2 - 2 T Berbere spice mix
4 C veg broth (usually one whole container)
1 1/4 C red lentils, rinsed and drained
1/2 t salt
1/4 cilantro (I omitted since I was out)
4 C hot cooked rice of your choice (I recommend this method for brown rice)

Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and squash and cook until tender, about 15 min. Add ginger and garlic and cook 5 min, stirring constantly. Add tomato paste and spice mix, whisking until blended. Cook one minute then slowly add broth, whisking constantly. Increase heat to med-high and bring to a simmer

Add lentils and simmer partially covered for about 25 min or until lentils are tender. Red lentils cook faster than brown lentils so keep an eye out. And you can cook them until they are just a bit underdone if you prefer them that way. Stir occasionally until done. Stir in salt and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve over rice. Yields about 5-6 servings. Makes tasty leftovers.

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