Ethiopian split lentil stew made with warm spices. Vegan, gluten-free and ready in 45 minutes – serve with flatbread or rice for a delicious but hearty meal!

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time35 mins

Total Time45 mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Ethiopian

Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Servings: 6 servings

Calories: 203kcal


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, large, diced
  • ½ tablespoon garlic paste, or minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons red chili powder, heaping teaspoons, adjust to spice tolerance!
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 can tomatoes, diced, 14.5 oz
  • 2 tablespoons berbere powder, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder, optional
  • 1 cup split lentils, red lentils preferred
  • 1 teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
  • 2 cups water


  • Add a tablespoon of oil to a large skillet or Dutch oven, and cook one finely diced onion until soft on medium heat. You can also add half a cup of water to further soften the onion.
  • Add a tablespoon of minced garlic, 2 teaspoons of red chili powder and allow the mixture to cook for 1-2 minutes
  • Then, add a teaspoon of tomato paste and sauté the mixture. Then, add a 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (no additional flavors) and a tablespoon of berbere spice and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Finally, add the remaining olive oil along with cardamom powder, and give the mix a good stir.
  • Wash 1 cup of split lentils (red lentils) and add them to the pot along with 2 cups of water or broth and salt to your taste. Bring this to a boil on medium heat and then turn down the heat to a low-medium. Add the remaining berbere powder and allow the mixture to simmer for at least 15 to 20 minutes, covered.Note: Your cooking time might vary depending on the age of lentils! When cooked, your lentils will be soft to touch but still have a bit of texture. You might also need to add more water as you go along, so make sure to check on your lentils every five minutes.
  • Nutrition
  • Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 567mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 230IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 4mg