Misr Wat (Ethiopian Spiced Lentils)

This dish was my first venture into Ethiopian dishes. I’ve dabbled with African cuisine, but I think this one has got to be my favorite so far! The only ingredient I had not worked with before was Berbere spice. And I have to say… I am obsessed. It might be my favorite new spice. It’s that good. I was easily able to find it at Whole Foods, but you can create your own as it is made up of 12 mostly common spices! This may be a controversial statement, but I thought the store-bought version was delicious.

Misr wat is kind of like a spicy red lentil stew, served over rice. Not only is it extremely healthy and filling, but the flavor is rather complex. When you make misr wat, your house is going to smell amazing.

Let me know what you think in the comments and tag me on Instagram with photos of your version!


Olive oil
1 red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2-3 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp Berbere (Ethiopian 12-spice)
2-3 cups veggie broth
1 cup red lentils, rinsed under cold water
½ bunch kale, stripped and shredded
½ tsp salt
1 lime, juiced
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
Cooked basmati rice, for serving

  1. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the onion to the skillet and cook for 15 minutes or until tender, stirring every couple minutes.
  2. Add the ginger and garlic; cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often. Add in the tomato paste and Berbere spice; cooking for another minute and stirring to combine.
  3. Slowly add the broth, stirring with a whisk until combined. Increase heat to medium-high; bring to a simmer.
  4. Add the lentils to broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to a low and allow to simmer for 25-30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add in the kale and allow it wilt. Stir occasionally.
  5. Stir in salt. Sprinkle with cilantro and lime juice.
  6. Serve over rice.
  7. Enjoy!