Instant Pot Ethiopian Lentil Stew

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Ethiopian Lentil Stew made easy in the Instant Pot! This spicy red lentil stew is full of flavors and the addition of spinach makes it more nutritious! Vegan & gluten-free.

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Instant Pot Ethiopian Lentil Stew with rice in a black bowl

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My first opinion of Ethiopian food was not very good. I think it had to do with the injera (the Ethiopian flatbread)  and mainly because it was served cold. Indians mostly eat everything super hot, at least that’s how it was in my house. Chai boiling hot straight from the pan, paratha and roti straight from the skillet to the plate and so on. You I kind of grew eating hot meals and then when I ate injera, my first reaction was why is it cold? I am not sure if its always served cold but that’s how it has been in most Ethiopian restaurants that I have been to.

Anyway so after that first encounter, I kind of stayed away from Ethiopian food but Sarvesh is a big fan so one day, I decided to give it another shot and I am so glad I did! I realized that the food was so flavorful and just so delicious with all the spices. Now it’s one of my favorites, especially because it has so many vegetarian options. My favorites? Misir Wot, which is the spicy red lentils that I am sharing today and Shiro Wot, the chickpeas which I also love.

Ethiopian Lentil Stew in a black bowl

Ethiopian cuisine uses a lot of a spices and one of the very famous ones is Berbere spice. It’s a mix of several spices and its hot! Seriously when I used it for the first time, I used it liberally and I couldn’t eat that food. Okay, maybe my tolerance level is low when it comes to handling hot food but still it was hot. Now I am just extra careful while using it.

 Let’s talk a bit about this Ethiopian Lentil Stew

– its made in the Instant Pot- like duh obviously, it so easy in the IP!

– I have used red lentils for this stew, you may use other lentils as well. But I think traditionally red lentil is what is used in the recipe.

– I added some spinach to the lentils to make it more wholesome.

– this recipe is vegan and gluten-free!

overhead shot of ethiopian lentil and rice

This recipe of Ethiopian Red Lentil comes together so quickly in the Instant Pot. It takes less than 30 minutes to put this spicy dish on the table. Traditionally it should be eaten with injera but since I don’t know how to make it and I didn’t even have the ingredients for it, I just ate it with some rice. Let me tell you, it tastes amazing either way!

I added 2 teaspoons of berbere spice mix here and it was little hot me still. I mean it was tolerable but hot. I know of people who would add like 1-2 tablespoons for the same amount of lentils, so if you are one of those feel free to add more. Also, it might depends on the brand you buy and how hot your spice mix is, so adjust accordingly.

Here are the products that I used for this recipe

 

Method

Press the saute button on your Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add the oil and then add the chopped ginger, garlic, red onion & spring onion.

Cook the onion, ginger and garlic for around 3 minutes until softened. Then add the cumin powder and berbere spice.

Also add the salt, mix well and cook for few seconds.

Add the tomato paste, red lentils and stir for 30 seconds.

Then add 1.5 cups vegetable broth and close the lid.

Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes, with the pressure valve in the sealing position.

Quick release the pressure and then press the saute button.

Add the remaining 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth if desired at this point. I added the remaining 1/2 cup. Stir in the spinach leaves.

Let it simmer for 1 minutes or until the spinach leaves have wilted.

Serve this Instant Pot Ethiopian Lentil Stew with injera (the Ethiopian flat-bread) or plain rice! You may garnish it with cilantro or parsley.

Instant Pot Ethiopian Lentil Stew

Spicy Ethiopian Lentil Stew made in the Instant Pot! It's spicy, flavorful and makes a comforting meal. Vegan & gluten-free. 

Instant Pot Ethiopian Lentil Stew with rice in a black bowl
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 3
Calories: 251 kcal
Author: Manali
5 from 3 votes
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Ingredients

  • 1.5 tablespoon oil, use oil of choice
  • 1 inch ginger, 10 grams, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, 7 grams, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, 120 grams, sliced
  • 3 stalks of green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons berbere spice, adjust to taste
  • salt, to taste, little more than 1/2 teaspoon
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup red lentils, 135 grams
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 25-30 baby spinach leaves
  • cilantro or parsley, to garnish

Instructions

  1. Press the saute button on your Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add the oil and then add the chopped ginger, garlic, red onion & spring onion.

  2. Cook the onion, ginger and garlic for around 3 minutes until softened. Then add the cumin powder and berbere spice. Also add the salt, mix well and cook for few seconds.

  3. Add the tomato paste, red lentils and stir for 30 seconds. Then add 1.5 cups vegetable broth and close the lid.

  4. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes, with the pressure valve in the sealing position.

  5. Quick release the pressure and then press the saute button.

  6. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth if desired at this point. I added the remaining 1/2 cup. Stir in the spinach leaves. Let it simmer for 1 minutes or until the spinach leaves have wilted.

  7. Serve this Instant Pot Ethiopian Lentil Stew with injera (the Ethiopian flat-bread) or plain rice! You may garnish it with cilantro or parsley. 

Recipe Notes

  1. You may use water in place of vegetable broth.
  2. Adjust spice levels to taste. Berbere spice is hot so adjust accordingly.
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Ethiopian Lentil Stew
Amount Per Serving
Calories 251 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Sodium 825mg 34%
Potassium 617mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates 33g 11%
Dietary Fiber 15g 60%
Sugars 3g
Protein 12g 24%
Vitamin A 28.3%
Vitamin C 11.9%
Calcium 4.6%
Iron 29.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Instant Pot Ethiopian Lentil Stew

 

6 thoughts on “Instant Pot Ethiopian Lentil Stew

  1. We actually have some berbere spice! We picked it up at a spice store over the holidays, and we’ve been meaning to use it…but we haven’t gotten around to it yet. Now I know what I want to try! But thanks for the heads up on how hot it is. I didn’t realize that. This stew looks like the perfect comfort food for a cold weekend! Hope you and Sarvesh have a great weekend, Manali! 🙂

  2. I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds injera to be cold, wet. slimy and disgusting. But I love everything else about Ethiopian food. Too bad we can’t bring our own fresh hot naan or flour tortillias to scoop up the deliciousness. Will try this recipe… And I’ll use naan…

    1. lol haha, I didn’t like injera at all at first but now I don’t find it that bad…of course I love their lentils and chickpeas so much more but injera is also kind of okay now..I just couldn’t get used to the idea of cold bread at first because in India we eat piping hot food. Great about eating it with naan or tortillas 😉

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