Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew | Misir Wot in Instant Pot
Misir Wot is an Ethiopian lentil stew made by cooking lentils in clarified butter, ghee, and 'Berbere' spice blend. I used the instant pot for this recipe, to bring down total cooking time to less than 30 minutes.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Ethiopian, Northern African
Keyword: ethiopian lentils, ethiopian red lentil stew, misir wot, red lentil recipe
Turn on Sauté mode. Wait 30-40 seconds for the inner pot to get hot and add butter or ghee. Add chopped onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until onions soften.
Add minced ginger and garlic and sauté another minute.
Add tomato paste, salt and Berbere seasoning / spice mix. Stir well. Add rinsed and drained lentils, water and stir. Press 'Cancel' and close the lid. Select Manual or Pressure cook and cook for 4 minutes at high pressure on sealing mode.
After the cooking is complete, wait 5 minutes for natural pressure release, then follow the quick release instructions. Open the lid after the pin drops.
Stir and check for consistency. If the stew seems too thick, add ½-1 cup of water (or as needed) and stir well till the water gets absorbed and lentils reach a creamy consistency. Check for seasoning.
Finish the dish with a light squeeze of lime juice. Serve with couscous with a garden salad dressed with fresh lemon vinaigrette, or, the traditional sourdough flatbread, Injera.
Stove top recipe
You can also make this dish on the stove-top, using a heavy bottom sauce pot or dutch oven. Simply follow all the instructions for sautéing, add lentils, spices and 3 cups of water.
Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cover the pot and cook for 12-15 minutes until the lentils cook through and reach a creamy consistency. Be sure to stir every few minutes or so.
Cooking Fat: If using the Ethiopian clarified butter called 'Niter Kibeh' instead of ghee or butter, use an equal quantity as ghee.
Rinse lentils: Rinse red lentils 2-3 times until water runs clear. This gets rid of any excess starch which can otherwise cause your stew to be thicker than you like.
Water quantity: The consistency of this stew is mushy and creamy. After pressure cooking if your stew look very thick, add 1/2-1 cup water (or more) to loosen them. Adjust the quantity of water to reach your desired consistency.
Berbere: Some store-bought brands tend to be on the spicier side. If unsure about spice level, start by adding 1 tablespoon. After pressure cooking, add more after tasting and simmer for 1-2 minutes. To make it mild, you can follow the recipe and skip the cayenne.