Misir Wot (Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew)! Coming in HOT! This spicy, saucey lentil stew is perfect for those who love a POW of heat.
Healthy, spicy, and flavorful, this Misir Wot, Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew, features nutrient-dense lentils simmered in a bold Berbere spiced broth. This delicious porridge-style stew packs some heat. Serve it with injera or rice and a dollop of plant-based yogurt or hummus for an ultra-satisfying meal.
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
Hi there, Ameera here!
We absolutely love Ethiopian food. Misir Wot is one of Mom’s favorite. My brother introduced Mom and me to Ethiopian food many years ago. It was love at first bite for me, but for mom it took a few tries and now she absolutely loves it.
While not this recipe is not the traditional Misir Wot, we think this Whole Food Plant Based nod is perfectly delicious! Top it with plant-based yogurt or hummus to temper the heat and you have a perfect combination!
You gotta give this one a try!
Tips for Success:
- Flavor Profile: This dish is a Whole Food Plant Based nod to the traditional Ethiopian Misir Wot, Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew. It has a porridge-like consistency and is typically served with injera, which is a sour fermented pancake-like flatbread with a slightly spongy-like texture.
- Spicy/Heat: This stew is spicy and packs some heat. The heat hits you on the backend of your palate. We suggest tasting no less than three times before determining if additional spices are needed. This recipe is not for individuals who can’t tolerate heat. Berbere Spice Blend is a flavor-packed, heat-filled spice blend. The heat is tempered by adding a dollop of yogurt (plant yogurt). While not traditional, we topped ours with hummus. It creates the perfect complimentary cooling effect.We absolutely love it with hummus.
- Berbere Spice Blend: Berbere Spice Blends pack heat. You may want to start of the lower end of the ingredient amounts and build from there. Berbere Spice Blends also need to cook and rest for the flavor to develop. You can typically find Berbere Spice Blend at most major grocery stores or online. Feel free to make your own if you wish. We used 2 Tablespoons of Berbere Spice for a very spicy, delicious punch of heat! If you add more spices, you will need to increase your cooking time to allow the spices to develop in the stew.
- Consistency: As mentioned above, the consistency of this dish is very porridge-like. It is thick; it is traditionally eaten by tearing off pieces of injera bread and picking up the Misir Wot in a pinching motion with the fingers. We eat it with our quinoa flatbread (which does not pinch), pita bread, and hummus or yogurt (plant yogurt).
- Petite Diced Tomatoes: We drained and rinsed the petite diced tomatoes to ensure we just got the diced tomatoes and no juice to create a more authentic flavor palate.
- Rest for 20 minutes: This dish needs to rest to allow the spices to mellow and become less sharp. Allowing it to rest will create a smoother flavor experience. It tastes even better the next day after it has sat in the fridge, similar to how chili tastes better then next day after the spices meld together.
- Split Red Lentils: You can use either whole red lentils or split red lentils. We used split red lentils as they cook faster and break down nicely. If using whole red lentils, adjust your increased cooking time and liquids accordingly.
- Testing the Tenderness of the Lentils: Just pull out a few lentils and give them a taste to check for tenderness. The lentils should have melted creating a stew-like porridge.
- Tahini: Tahini is used to create a smoother mouth feel for the Berbere spice. You can leave it out if you wish with the understanding that you will need to scale back on the Berbere spice and potentially add other ingredients. We have not tested this recipe without the tahini.
- Tahini Substitutions: You can substitute the tahini with cashew butter due to its neutral flavor. You can potentially substitute with other nut or seed butters with the understanding that the flavor and texture will be impacted. We have not tested any substitutions.
- Adding of Sea Salt: We recommend adding the sea salt near the end as sea salt tends to toughen the shell of the lentils which may take the lentils longer to cook if added too early.
- Amount of Sea Salt: We had family members completely divided over the amount of sea salt needed to season this soup, feel free to adjust to suit your own tastes accordingly.
- Injera: We are often asked to develop an oil-free WFPB recipe for Injera. We have tried multiple times to create an authentic injera (Oil-Free, WFPB), but have been unsuccessful to date. The testing continues. 😀
- Instant Pot: We tried this recipe using the Instant Pot and kept getting the Burn Notice. We tried increasing the liquids, but still got it.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep for 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container.
This stew freezes well.
- Vegetable Stock: We use Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients.
- Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
- Large stock pot
If you try this spicy and flavorful dish, we would love to know if you enjoy it as much as we do! Please leave us a review! Post a picture on Facebook or Instagram and tag us! We would love to hear from you.Print
Healthy, spicy, and flavorful, this Misir Wot, Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew, features nutrient-dense lentils simmered in a bold Berbere spiced broth.
- 1 large yellow onion, fine dice
- 2 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 to 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth *
- 2 ½ cups water
- 1 – [ 14.5 oz. can ] petite diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed *
- 2 cups split red lentils, picked through, and rinsed *
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons Berbere Spice Blend (+/-) *
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (+/-)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric (+/-)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon (+/-)
- ½ to 1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt (+/-) *
- 1 Tablespoon tahini *
- Top with unsweetened plain plant yogurt or hummus
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Place the Spice/Herb Ingredients (except the sea salt) in a small bowl, mix well, set aside.
- In a large stock pot, add the diced onions; sauté over medium heat until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 9 minutes. Add a tablespoon or so of vegetable broth or water if they start to stick and/or to prevent burning.
- Next add the minced garlic and ginger, sauté, stirring constantly for one minute.
- Then add all the remaining Base Ingredients and the Spice/Herb Mix (except the sea salt). Stir well to mix, bring to a boil, then immediately lower to a simmer.
- Cover the pot, simmer with a gentle low boil for 25 to 40 minutes or until the split red lentils are perfectly tender and look like porridge after stirring really well. Note: Stir occasionally after 15 minutes, then frequently thereafter to prevent sticking.
- When the lentils are tender, add the tahini and sea salt. Simmer uncovered for another 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Taste test for flavor.
- Remove from the stove and allow to sit for 20 minutes for the flavors to marry. Serve with plant-based yogurt or hummus spooned over top, freshly chopped cilantro, and flatbread.
*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Servings: 4 to 5 (makes approx. 5 ½ cups)
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