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. 
Jump to RecipePrint Recipe

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.

If you love all the Instant Pot vegetarian/vegan recipes that I share on the blog, please join me on this Facebook Group – Instant Pot Vegetarian Recipes. The group would share/feature vegetarian instant pot recipes and ideas from all around the web!

Instant Pot Ethiopian Lentil Stew with rice in a black bowl

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information on my Affiliate and Advertising Policy, please click here

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

Instant Pot Ethiopian Lentil Stew with rice in a black bowl
Manali
Spicy Ethiopian Lentil Stew made in the Instant Pot! It's spicy, flavorful and makes a comforting meal. Vegan & gluten-free. 
4.87 from 29 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 3
Calories 251 kcal

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
 

  • 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: 251kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 12gFat: 7gSodium: 825mgPotassium: 617mgFiber: 15gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1415IUVitamin C: 9.8mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 5.2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

Instant Pot Ethiopian Lentil Stew

 

62 thoughts on “Instant Pot Ethiopian Lentil Stew

  1. 5 stars
    Amazing! Definitely had to reduce the cook time from 6 to 4 minutes to keep the lentils from turning into mush though. We LOVE spice so I added about 3 times the spice plush some extra cayenne pepper. Adding some fried tofu or baked sweet potato cubes was also really good.

  2. 5 stars
    This is delicious! I like a little more heat so I put 1T of berebere but also added a can of diced tomatoes. It’s hot! Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Me, too, though I do like a warm bread. I do not understand anyone claiming it is slimy. It is more moist on the inside than other flatbreads, but not wet at all on the outside. (That’s what I think of as slimy.) I like the chewy, spongy texture and how flexible it is to wrap around food.

  3. 5 stars
    So good!!!!! We did a whole bag of spinach and added the different seasonings that usually make the berbere seasonings!!! Definitely gonna be a family favorite and we used pita bread to scoop it up!!! YUM ?

    1. You mean green split peas? or yellow ones? like chana dal? Either way the cooking time will change. they would need 12-13 minutes

  4. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time tonight. It sounded so good that I decided to risk a double batch (which I don’t usually do the first time I try a new recipe!) I also didn’t want to wait to find Berbere in a store or online, so I made some from the link you mentioned in an earlier comment. I also had the same experience as you did when I first tried Ethiopian food – the injera made me think that I didn’t care for the whole meal. So, I REALLY wanted this to be good to change my experience and memory. It exceeded my hopes by SO much!!! This was absolutely delicious! I used a “hot” chili powder in my berbere and it had a nice kick, and served it over jasmine rice.
    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe. I suspect that this will become something that we eat often!

  5. 5 stars
    I cooked it exactly as written and was excellent. Not too much heat so I’ll add more for when I make for my son. Very easy to make. I also made injera to go with it.

  6. 5 stars
    Made a triple batch tonight in my 8-quart IP, threw in a couple cans of chickpeas and a small package of baby carrots. Very nice indeed! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating