Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr
Recipe includes spice mix if you can't find it in the supermarkets.
- 1 lb lentils
- 6 cups water or 6 cups vegetable broth
- 6 cups mild green chilies, roasted peeled, seeded and chopped* (See note)
- 2 red onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (or more)
- fresh ground black pepper
BEREBERE SPICE MIX (use 2 tablespoons)
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds or 2 teaspoons powdered cumin
- 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds (shell off husks) or 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon whole allspice (or ground)
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (or powder)
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed (or powder)
- 8 whole cloves or 8 ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns or 1 teaspoon freshly ground peppercorn
- 5 teaspoons red pepper flakes or 5 teaspoons crumbled dried red peppers
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh gingerroot (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons sweet paprika (can use hot)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Bring lentils and broth to boil and simmer 10 minutes.
- Add chiles, onion, garlic, and Berebere spices. Cook covered for another 30 minutes, until most of liquid is absorbed.
- Serve with ground black pepper to taste.
- For a vegetarian meal, these lentils are good with a dollop of yogurt, brown rice and sliced tomatoes.
- BEREBERE SPICE MIX:.
- Toast all the seeds and whole cloves in a small frying pan for 2 minutes, stirring constantly (open window or turn on the stove vent--it can smoke). Grind the spices in a spice grinder. If you are using pre-ground spices, ignore and go on to the next step.
- Mix all remaining ingredients. Place in a tightly covered container and refrigerate. This mixture can used with many combinations of legumes, rice or vegetables.
- NOTE: *OR: 1 bell pepper chopped + 14-oz can chopped green chiles.
- NOTE TWO : There are two ways to make this berebere spice mix - with whole spices that you grind, or with powdered versions of the spices. The first way gives you a more powerful flavor, but it may be more practical the second way, particularly if you don't have a spice grinder.
- Yield: 6 to 10 servings.
Although I thought the flavour combination is fantastic and I am at this moment making up another big batch of it for using on just everything I am only giving it 3 stars because it was unbearably hot. I am very used to hot food and found it way too hot and my poor husband could barely eat it. I followed the spice mix directions ecaxctely. I subbed half the lentils for the same weight in sweet potato and because it was so spicy I added one zucchini, and some spinach and also lemon juice. I served it with rice. I am making it again because I like the spice combination but I am not adding any chili this time but will add it in depending what I am cooking. thanks for posting
This was excellent. I used roasted sweet peppers in leu of chilies and it was great, not hot at all. The flavors were a perfect balance and took me back to Ethiopia. Delicious. I served it with tikal gomen and basmati. I will make this again and again, especially when my garden sweet peppers are abundant.
I read the reviews first so I only used 2 tablespoons of the pepper flakes, I could probably do 3 and be just fine. Also, I felt like it was missing something so I added a small amount of brown sugar and yams for texture. It was wonderful and I will be making this regularly.