the taste space

Ethiopian Lentils in Berbere Sauce (Yemiser W’et) (& Vegan Eats World review)

Posted in Book Review, Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) by janet @ the taste space on October 30, 2012

Last year, I teased you. I told you about all these delicious meals I was making but not sharing the recipes.

Russian Sauerkraut Soup (Shchi) – This was a favourite recipe and Isa has already shared the recipe here (I loved the book’s smokey version with liquid smoke, coriander seitan, sliced cabbage along with I also added some white beans)

Sesame Wow Greens, a spin on oshitashi – so simple, yet a delicious way to eat spinach. I should try it with chard and kale, too.

Luscious White Bean and Celery Root Puree – this was how I got hooked onto celeriac!

Rice Paper Rolls with Kale and Asian Pear with a Peanut Coconut Sauce – delicious in a zucchini wrap

Fastlane Cabbage Kimchi – I preferred the ginger version instead of the spicy version (did you know that kimchi normally has fish sauce or shrimp in it?)

White Bean Farro Soup with Chickpea Parmigiano – the topping is what made this dish special

All of the recipes were from Terry Hope Romero’s new book, Vegan Eats World which is available today! And those were only a few of the recipes, since I tested over 30.  This is a vegan cookbook geared at international cuisine, from Colombian Coconut Lentil Rice to Moroccan Vegetable Filo Pie (Bisteeya) and (Belgian) Beer Bathed Seitan Stew with Oven Frites (the latter were two of my recipe requests!). Terry tackled fun recipes from around the globe. She uses authentic ingredients while still putting her own spin to the dish.

One of the drawbacks of this cookbook is that she uses authentic ingredients. My cupboard explosion is partially due to Terry’s influence when I bought frozen pandan, Korean pepper flakes, canned jackfruit, freekeh and annatto seeds, among others. I can credit her with discovering many new favourite ingredients, too, including star anise, celeriac and freekeh.

As a recipe tester, I received my cookbook last week. It was captivating to read through the cookbook and discover even more recipes I want to try. There were so many recipes I couldn’t test them all.

Recipes in her book range from fancy to easy weeknight meals. Some are more involved (she has recipes for Afghan Pumpkin Ravioli with Spicy Tomato Sauce and Garlic Yogurt Sauce) or incredibly easy (like Coconut [Black Eyed] Bean Curry (Lobia). The marker of a good cookbook, though, is having repeater recipes. I even photographed this one before when we made it with red lentils instead of green. Lover of all things curry, Rob has adopted this into his Repeater Recipes as a quick and simple meal both of us enjoy. We may have moved across town, from one Little Ethiopia to another, so we have easy access to injera. Terry also has a recipe for (Almost) Instant Injera, along with other dishes to make your own Ethiopian feast.

While I encourage you to pick up your own copy of Vegan Eats World, thankfully, Terry agreed to me sharing her recipe for Ethiopian Lentils in Berbere Sauce (Yemiser W’et) and Berbere Spice Blend. Enjoy!

Here are some other Ethiopian dishes you might enjoy:

Ethiopian Split Pea Puree (Kik Alicha)

Ethiopian Warm Cabbage and Green Beans

Fasoulia (Ethiopian Carrots and Green Beans Simmered in a Tomato Sauce)

Ethiopian Split Pea and Kabocha Squash Stew with Collards

This is my submission to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Haalo, and to this week’s Healthy Vegan Friday.

Lentils in Berbere Sauce (Yemiser W’et)
From Vegan Eats World

Lentils
1 cup dry green lentils (we have also made this with red lentils)
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt

OR use 2 cups cooked lentils with about 1/4 cup of reserved cooking liquid
(about one 14 ounce can)

Berbere sauce

1 large red onion, peeled and finely diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons Spiced Buttery Oil (aka niter kibbeh, Terry includes a recipe but we used the one from Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food, other recipes here and here)
5 teaspoons Berbere Spice Blend (see below)
2 teaspoons sweet ground paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup lentil cooking liquid or vegetable broth
3 large tomatoes, diced (we used 1 quart homemade pureed tomatoes)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

1. In a 2 quart sauce pan bring lentils, water and salt to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until lentils are tender but not overly mushy. Turn off heat and set aside about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Drain the lentils and transfer to a bowl.

2. Clean the sauce pan, dry and over medium heat fry the onion, garlic and Spiced Buttery Oil together until the onion is softened and translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the Berbere Spice Blend, paprika, cumin and tomato paste and fry, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Stir in the lentil cooking liquid or vegetable broth and simmer for 2 minutes, then stir in the lentils and tomatoes. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If a thicker stew is desired simmer uncovered for another 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt, then turn off heat and cover. Let stew stand for 20 minutes before serving warm with injera bread.

Serves 4 to 6 with injera and other stews

Berbere Spice Blend
From Vegan Eats World

6 green cardamom pods or 1/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds
6 allspice berries or 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
6 whole cloves
3 tablespoons ground hot or sweet paprika  (we used sweet paprika this time)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper  (we used Aleppo pepper, so this wasn’t spicy, add to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. If using the cardamom pods, open them with your fingers or the tip of a sharp paring knife and remove the seeds. I usually find it easiest to slice each pod horizontally, break open the pod and shake out the seeds. Discard the empty pods.

2. In a skillet over medium heat toast together the cardamom seeds, allspice berries (but not the ground allspice if using), coriander, cumin, fenugreek, peppercorns, and cloves for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove seeds immediately when fragrant and fenugreek seeds have darkened slightly.

3. Grind the toasted spices with the ground paprika, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, salt and cinnamon in a coffee grinder as fine as you can make it. Store in a clean, dry glass jar and cover tightly. Keep in a dark, cool kitchen cabinet and use within 3 months for the best flavor.

Makes over 1/2 cup.

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35 Responses

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  1. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on October 30, 2012 at 8:11 AM

    This looks AMAZING! Quite the ingredient’s list but I’m sure it’s well worth it :)

  2. Cathy@ What Would Cathy Eat? said, on October 30, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    This will go on my must-cook list! One question – how do you make a vegan spiced buttery oil?

  3. sprint2thetable said, on October 30, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    Yummmm! I love Ethiopian food. I’ve been making injera a lot, and my own Berbere spice blend goes on anything and everything… only I’m too lazy to use the seeds and just buy each ingredient pre-ground. ;)

  4. Joanne said, on October 30, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Okay well…between this recipe and the pumpkin ravioli recipe you mentioned…it’s evident I NEED that cookbook!

  5. meghanr rose said, on October 30, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    This is my favourite Ethiopian dish! I ate it all the time when I was in Ethiopia. Since New Brunswick seems to have zero Ethopian restaurants, I’ll have to make some of my own.

    You can sometimes buy teff (to make injera yourself if so inclined) at Bulk Barn. As for berbere, sometimes Ethiopian restaurants or stores run by Ethiopians will have pre-made berbere for sale. I know in Ottawa, Blue Nile on Gladstone sells berbere, as do some of the convenience stores on Gladstone.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on October 30, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      Thanks for the tips, Megan! This is REALLY easy to make although injera is a bit harder. I say that because our first attempt was a flop.. I have seen teff flour at Bulk Barn, too! My first taste of berbere was actually from an ethnic shop clsoe to my old home. They gave us a sample and I was surprised it wasn’t as spicy as I had feared… very flavourful/aromatic with minimal heat. which was how I got hooked and now I make my own blend. :)

      If you try it, please let me know. I have a few other Ethiopian dishes posted, too, if you want to go all out. :)

  6. Chef Amber Shea said, on October 30, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    Misir watt (however you choose to spell it, hehe) is my FAVORITE Ethiopian dish of all time. I got the recipe from a local restaurant (I buy my berbere from them too), and it’s the only one I ever make at home (I posted it a couple years ago)…but now I’ll have to try Terry’s version! I preordered the book, so it’s already arriving today. Excellent timing :)

  7. […] The Taste Space just got her copy of Vegan Eats World which came out officially today, and showed us these beautiful lentils on top of some home made injera. I want to make every recipe in this book, and she has pictures of a bunch of the other ones! […]

  8. Richa said, on October 30, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Awesome! i love that injera.. i need to get this book!

  9. Flavors of the Sun said, on October 31, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Lovely recipe. I perk up when I see anything prepared with Berbere, and this is a terrific recipe/ Thanks for posting it.

  10. Megan said, on October 31, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    This look so Great I can wait to make it tonight.

    LIfe on a Raw Food Diet change my Life.

  11. Kristy said, on October 31, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    Oh my gosh, I need to get my hands on this book! Just the ingredients that you mentioned have me sold! And I am such a sucker for Ethiopian food- this looks divine!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on October 31, 2012 at 5:28 PM

      Kristy, I think you will love the book. I only scraped the tip of the cookbook. So many more recipes to try!

  12. Genevieve said, on November 2, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    I’m sure I would love this cookbook – sounds like it has so many unique international recipes that you don’t see anywhere else! Ethiopian food is one cuisine that I haven’t tackled myself yet, but I’d love to try!

  13. Cadry's Kitchen said, on November 8, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    I was a tester for VEW too, but I haven’t tried any of the Ethiopian recipes yet. I’m so eager to sample her injera & wots, including this one!

  14. […] Coconut Curry – Flying Massaman Curry – Pineapple Curry – Kimchi Tofu Eggplant Stew (Jigae) – Lentils in Berbere Sauce (Yemiser W’et) – The Great Big Vegetable Couscous – White Bean Farro Soup with Chickpea Parmigiano – Yellow Split […]

  15. […] in the mood to deal with meat, I decided to make berbere lentils my centerpiece. I found this recipe, which sounded pretty authentic and had gotten good […]

  16. Ellen Lederman said, on April 19, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    Will need to try this. Penzeys FINALLY carries berbere spice—even giving it as a free gift. Will need to decide between using it and making my own,….

    • janet @ the taste space said, on April 19, 2013 at 10:04 PM

      Berbere is kind of like curry powder: everyone’s is different. For me, I was surprised that even the one we got at the store was not as spicy as I feared. Now we make our own. :)

  17. Ibleuetmyrtille said, on May 13, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    This is a wonderful recipe! I tried it and the whole family likes it and I am not a vegan.

  18. […] then made ethiopian style lentils, something similar to this although I didn't use spiced oil http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2012…e-yemiser-wet/ There are a ton of blogs out there you can use for inspiration or even check out cookbooks at your […]

  19. bbruce27 said, on August 27, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    May I repost this recipe on my blog please? :)

  20. Ethiopian Food | Nice Diva said, on August 28, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    […] Yemiser W’et (including lentils, sauce, and berbere spice blend): here […]

  21. […] 2. Ethiopian Lentils in Berbere Sauce (Yemiser W’et) […]

  22. […] Ethiopian Lentils in Berbere Sauce (Yemiser W’et) […]

  23. […] sourdough starter were omitted. Even if I didn’t make exactly the same meal, I would use the Berbere spice mix again: it was complex in flavour and […]


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