Instant Pot Ethiopian Lentil Stew

4.84 from 56 votes

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

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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

4.84 from 56 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 3
Spicy Ethiopian Lentil Stew made in the Instant Pot! It's spicy, flavorful and makes a comforting meal. Vegan & gluten-free. 

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
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Instructions 

  • 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. 

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

Calories: 251kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 7g, Sodium: 825mg, Potassium: 617mg, Fiber: 15g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1415IU, Vitamin C: 9.8mg, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 5.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

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Instant Pot Ethiopian Lentil Stew

 


Hi, I’m Manali!

Bringing you easy, delicious vegetarian & vegan recipes! Eating veggies can be fun, you just need to get creative in the kitchen with the right set of ingredients!


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Recipe Rating




110 Comments

  1. Just a little feedback, I love the recipe. When you use the multiple button is multiplies the ingredients accordingly but it does not multiply the gram equivalent so 4 or 6 large garlic cloves are the same g weight as 2. I work in g and it nearly caught me out.

    1. Yes Cathy I am aware of that and there’s nothing I can do about it unfortunately (it’s just how the plugin works). I had disabled this function for a long time for this very reason but then so many people requested to have it switched on again and so we did. I wish there was a fix

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious! I made it exactly per the recipe and it turned out great. First time I used an instant pot as well. Looking forward to making more of your recipes! Thank you

  3. This was wonderful! We added more Berber spice, and then some yogurt as a topping (which isn’t very ethiopian, but it was delicious!) thank you!

    1. I have not tried freezing it but it should freeze well. You can add coconut milk if you like. I don’t think traditional Ethiopian stew has coconut milk in it.

    1. sorry you didn’t like it. could be that the berbere you used was bland because trust me this dish is anything but bland. A lot of my readers have found it spicy.