Ethiopian Lentils With Berebere Spice Mix

Total Time
1hr 30mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr

Recipe includes spice mix if you can't find it in the supermarkets.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. LENTILS:.
  2. Bring lentils and broth to boil and simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Add chiles, onion, garlic, and Berebere spices. Cook covered for another 30 minutes, until most of liquid is absorbed.
  4. Serve with ground black pepper to taste.
  5. For a vegetarian meal, these lentils are good with a dollop of yogurt, brown rice and sliced tomatoes.
  7. 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.
  8. Mix all remaining ingredients. Place in a tightly covered container and refrigerate. This mixture can used with many combinations of legumes, rice or vegetables.
  9. NOTE: *OR: 1 bell pepper chopped + 14-oz can chopped green chiles.
  10. 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.
  11. Yield: 6 to 10 servings.
Most Helpful

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

canthelpmyself February 04, 2009

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.

Corrin P. December 01, 2015

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.

Madam Krista March 10, 2014