Ethiopian Spicy Split Lentil Stew (Yimser Wot)

Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 30 mins

Ethiopian Spicy Split Lentil Stew (Yimser Wot) is cooked with chili powder (Berbere) and served with Injera (Ethiopian flat bread) or bread of your choice. Excellent dish for vegans and Lent Observers.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Bring to boil 4 cups of water in a medium pot. Rinse the lentils with fresh water and add to it. Cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the foam with spoon and discard . Lightly drain the extra water in a container or a cup.
  3. Meanwhile, sauté the onion with ½ cup of water and one tablespoon of oil for 5 minutesor until tender.
  4. To the cooked onion add one cup of water, hot red chili powder (berbere), the rest of the oil, garlic and black pepper. Stir for 10 minutes.
  5. Combine the lentils and sauce. Mix well. If more water is needed, use the set-aside water. Cook the stew for 20 minutes until it simmers.
  6. Add false cardamom and salt to taste. Remove from heat. Serve it warm or cold.
  7. P.S. To make it mild, you may use tomato sauce.
  8. * You will find these spices in Ethiopian or Indian shops/groceries.
Most Helpful

Yes this was spicy alright! Definitely add the Berbere spice in stages if you are sensitive to heat. I served this as part of an Ethiopian dinner alongside the milder Atar Allecha (Split Pea Puree). It was delicious! I think I could eat nothing but pureed, spicy legume dishes with Injeera bread and be very happy. What comfort food. Thank you for posting!

averybird February 22, 2012

I made this recipe today and it was great. I added twice the sauce for the lentils to intensify the flavor. It's a definite winner!

WestIndian July 30, 2011