Misr Wat

Misr Wat – Ethiopian Red Lentils

Makes: about 3 cups
Time: 30-45 minutes


  • 1 cup red lentils (rinsed)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion (diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger (grated)
  • 2 Tbsp berbere
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro (chopped) (optional)


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook according to the package directions, though leave them a little al dente, as they will simmer in a spiced liquid a little later in the recipe. About 5 – 10 minutes, depending on the size of the lentils.
  2. Drain the lentils and set aside.
  3. In a large saute pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and ginger, cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the berbere to form a paste.
  6. Add the lentils, half teaspoon of salt, and water. Bring to a simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated and the mixture has thickened into a stew-like consistency.
  7. Finish with fresh lime juice.
  8. Garnish with cilantro (if desired) and serve immediately.


As with most of these Ethiopian recipes, authenticity and source are unknown because I’m borrowing this from my spouse’s stack of papers with recipes.