The small lentils (variously called red lentils, pink lentils, Egyptian lentils, and, in South Asia, masoor dal) used for this dish turn yellow when cooked. The recipe for this version comes from an Ethiopean cook, Alemtshaye Yigezu, who cooked this dish for us while visiting her home.
Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Soups and Stews
- 1 cup red lentils
- 4 tbsp. nit'r qibe (Ethiopian Spiced Butter) or unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. berbere (Ethiopian Spice Mix)
- 1 small tomato, cored and chopped
- Kosher salt, to taste
Rinse the lentils in a sieve under cold running water and set aside.
Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the reserved lentils, 1 tbsp. of the berbere, tomato, and 4 cups water to the saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and the lentils are tender, 45–50 minutes. Stir in the remaining berbere and season generously with salt. Serve immediately.