(Ethiopian red lentil puree)
4 to 6 servings
- Onions, chopped -- 2
- Garlic, crushed -- 2 cloves
- Ginger, peeled and minced -- 2 teaspoons
- Oil, butter or niter kibbeh -- 1/4 cup
- Paprika -- 2 tablespoons
- Turmeric -- 1 teaspoon
- Cayenne pepper -- 1/2 to 2 teaspoons
- Red lentils, rinsed -- 1 pound
- Water or stock -- 4 cups
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Place the onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor or blender and puree. Add a little water if necessary.
- Heat the oil, butter or niter kibbeh in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium flame. Add turmeric, paprika and cayenne pepper and stir rapidly to color the oil and cook spices through, about 30 seconds.
- Add the onion puree and sauté until the excess moisture evaporates and the onion loses its raw aroma, about 5-10 minutes. Do not burn.
- Add lentils and water to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until lentils are cooked through and fall apart, about 30 to 40 minutes. Add water if necessary to keep the lentils from drying out.
- Stir in salt and pepper to taste and serve.
- Shiro Wat: use split green peas instead of lentils. In Ethiopia, shiro wat is made with a premade mix of powdered green peas and spices. But as this mix is virtually impossible to purchase outside Ethiopia, split green peas are an acceptable substitute.
- Substitute yellow lentils if you like.
- Red lentils are called masoor dal in India and can be found in most Indian markets.
- Sometimes spelled misir wat.