Ethiopian red lentil & tomato curry
Based on the traditional Ethiopian lentil dish, masir wot, this curry features the wonderfully fragrant spice mix berbere. This aromatic blend of chilli, ginger, garlic, nigella, fenugreek, paprika, cumin, coriander and cardamom imparts an unmistakable depth of flavour as well as benefitting the digestive system. The dish is traditionally served with a fermented flatbread called injera, made from teff flour, but wholemeal flatbreads or chapattis are good too.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
20 g/3/4 oz butter or vegan alternative
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 cm/ 2 in piece ginger, finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree
6 vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp berbere spice blend
225 g/8 oz red split lentils, rinsed well
2 bay leaves
800–900 ml/28–31 fl oz/31/2–scant 4 cups vegetable stock
100 g/31/2 oz baby spinach leaves
juice ½ lemon, plus wedges to serve
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Greek-style yogurt, or vegan alternative, and wholemeal flatbreads, to serve
From Right Carb
Pavilion Books: 2021
Photography: Haarala Hamilton
Heat a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the butter, oil and onion and cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 1 minute, stirring.
Stir in the tomato puree, tomatoes and berbere, then add the lentils, bay leaves and the smaller quantity of stock and bring up to the boil. Turn the heat down to low, partially cover with a lid, and simmer for 20 minutes until the lentils are tender and the stew has reduced and thickened.
Stir in the spinach, season generously with salt and pepper, then stir in the lemon juice. Cook for another 3 minutes or until the spinach has wilted. Add more of the stock if needed.
Serve the stew topped with a good spoonful of yogurt, warmed flatbreads and lemon wedges for squeezing over.