Misir Wat (Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew)

I was craving lentils today so I decided to make misir wat. Misir wat is an Ethiopian lentil stew that is easy to make and has an incredible depth of flavour. Lentils are also nutritious. They’re a great source of protein, fiber, iron (which I really need), folate, and vitamin B6. If you’re a vegetarian or if you’re like me and like to have meatless meals during the weekdays, then this is a great dish to have in your meal rotation.

To make misir wat, you’ll need niter kibbeh which is a spiced clarified butter. I have posted my recipe for niter kibbeh here. You’ll also need berbere spice which you can probably find at an African grocery store or you can make your own (recipe here). Berbere spice is a hot spice blend so use less than the amount that I’ve listed in this recipe, if you want a milder stew. Misir wat is often served with injera or rice. The instructions for making misir wat are on the recipe card below. Enjoy!

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5 from 4 votes

Misir Wat (Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew)

Misir wat is a delicious and nutritious Ethiopian lentil stew. It uses simple ingredients and is a great meal to have on busy weeknights.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time43 mins
Total Time53 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: African
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 244kcal
Author: Mavis K.


  • 1 cup dry red lentils
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tsp ginger (minced)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Niter Kibbeh
  • 1 tbsp Berbere spice
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • cups vegetable broth (you might need to add more broth depending on how thin you want the stew to be)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 2 sprigs cilantro (for garnish)


  • In a medium saucepan, melt the niter kibbeh over medium heat.
  • Add the onions, garlic and ginger, and cook for 2 minutes; stirring occasionally.
  • Add the salt, pepper and all the other spices, cook for 1 minute; stirring occasionally.
  • Add the lentils, tomato paste and broth. Mix the ingredients together, cover the saucepan and cook for 40 minutes or until the lentils are soft and the broth is reduced to your liking.
  • Serve with injera or rice.


For a quicker cook time, I usually soak the lentils in water while I'm getting the other ingredients ready for the meal. This usually amounts to about 15 minutes of soaking the lentils in water.


Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 2676mg | Potassium: 578mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1895IU | Vitamin C: 7.5mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 5mg

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  • Reply
    January 14, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    5 stars
    I had never had this before and I love exploring new recipes! Great depth of flavor. My lentils cooked in only about 20 minutes. Thanks for sharing! I love the turmeric flavor with the red lentils.

    • Reply
      Meals by Mavis
      January 14, 2021 at 8:47 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience with the recipe, Maddie. I’m glad that you enjoyed it.

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