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. 
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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

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. 
4.82 from 49 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

 

101 thoughts on “Instant Pot Ethiopian Lentil Stew

  1. This stew is absolutely wonderful and tastes even better the next day! I am a spice wimp so I made my own Berbere seasoning, adding only a pinch of red pepper flakes. Because I was using kale for the greens I added them along with the extra broth at the start of cooking. Love this recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    Your recipe has been in our rotation for the past couple years. Tomorrow our 11 month old will try it for the first time (cutting back on the salt and spicyness)!

  3. 5 stars
    I doubled the recipe and followed the directions exactly. Mine burnt before coming to pressure, and when I opened it the lentils had become quite mushy and the stew was very thick, maybe I could have added more broth. I transferred it to the stove top and simmered on low heat for a few minutes and it was fine. I bought the red lentils from a local African grocery store, they were a bit smaller than their green ones. I think if I had done the recipe on the stove top with those lentils, it would have come out fine. The flavor very good, I want to try it again, hopefully I can get it without burning.

    1. 4 stars
      The same happened to me, I actually took the mushy lentils and transferred them to the Vitamix and made a creamy soup, I was disappointed but may try again maybe on the stove. I do have 6 qt Instant pot Max, she’s right I read the comments and adjusted it to 5 mins and it still burned.

      I did taste it and it was quite tasty which is why I made a cream based soup.

  4. 5 stars
    I just made this after having it bookmarked for a little while. I like it! I wonder if I got the wrong lentils but I got some split red lentils and while it was a quick cursory look at my grocery store the ones they had looked like the Masoor Dal I got at my local international grocer. I do like what I made but should I have gotten whole red lentils? I could have been wrong that the Bob’s Red Mill ones were the same as the ones I got! Thanks for another great one! Looking forward to all of the neat recipes of yours I make!

  5. I make homemade injera bread, and this is absolutely delicious with injera! Injera can be difficult to make, but those who enjoy sour tasting breads will find that it pairs well with this. The injera soaks up all the yummy flavour of this recipe, and since injera is made from teff flour, it is naturally gluten free!
    This is a really good recipe. People who like lots of flavour should definitely add this one to their recipe box.

  6. 5 stars
    This recipe converted my husband from a lentil hater to a lentil lover! I boosted the berbere to 2.5 tsps and added some turmeric and black pepper. Fabulous!

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