Ethiopian Spicy Lentil Stew – Instant Pot

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Misir Wot, Ethiopian spicy lentil stew, is a healthy, protein packed dish made with few basic ingredients and a flavorful berbere spice mix!

I enjoy Ethiopian cuisine and couldn’t wait to try my hand on some of the recipes. So I decided to make the Ethiopian Berbere Spice blend that I can use to season lentils, chicken and fish. I used Cayenne pepper, paprika, fenugreek seeds, dried ginger, coriander, cloves and few other spices that I had in my pantry. Here is a more detailed recipe for homemade Berbere Spice Blend.

If you like to make your own spice blends here are some of my other spice mixes you might enjoy – garam masala, chana masala and bisi bele bath powder.

Berbere spice blend is also available at whole foods and online spice stores likes Penzy’s.

Here is my 11-year old helping me cook, as I worked on the video. We added only 1 tablespoon of the berbere spice blend, but you can add more for an authentic, spicy Misir Wot:

5 from 1 vote
Spicy Lentil Stew
Ethiopian Spicy Lentil Stew - Instant Pot
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
35 mins
Misir Wot, Ethiopian spicy lentil stew, is a healthy, protein packed dish made with few simple ingredients and aromatic berbere spice mix!
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Ethiopian
Servings: 4
Author: Archana Mundhe
  • 1 cup split red lentils
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1-2 tablespoon berbere spice blend
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 cups water divided
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 lime
  1. Turn Instant Pot to Saute mode. After the 'hot' sign displays, add oil and onions. Mix well. Cook covered with a glass lid for 2 minutes.
  2. Add ginger and garlic. Mix well and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Add red lentils, berbere spice blend and salt. Add 2 cups of water and mix everything together.
  4. Close Instant Pot lid with pressure valve to sealing. Cook on Manual(Hi) for 15 mins followed by natural pressure release.
  5. Open Instant Pot, Stir everything. Add more water to bring the stew to desired consistency. Mix well.
  6. Garnish with chopped cilantro and squeeze fresh lime juice on top before serving with steamed rice or bread.




22 thoughts on “Ethiopian Spicy Lentil Stew – Instant Pot

    1. Thank you! It is a delicious spice blend. It goes well on Ethiopian dishes as well as dips, tacos, burgers, etc.

  1. This I really want to try ! Without a pressure cooker, I know it will increase cook time but that’s ok.. The dish has great nutrition. My tastebuds are anticipating a flavorful experience ?

    1. Thank you Pan! You may want to look into Instant Pot. It is a good gadget for people on the road. I know many friends who have dietary restrictions and they even carry it with them when they travel to make their own food in hotels, RV’s etc. For me, It has replaced a lot of my cooking utensils and the clean up is very easy too. Either way, Instant Pot or not this lentils stew is amazing and split red lentils do cook fast on stovetop. Let me know how you like them?

  2. This was wonderful and gave me the opportunity to use some of the Berebere I’d purchased at Oaktown Spice in the SF Bay Area. I used the full two TBS of spice and loved the flavor. Served the stew over baked Japanese sweet potatoes. This goes into regular rotation. Thanks!

    1. Thank you for your feedback! SO glad you made it and loved the flavors! And serving over sweet potatoes sounds delish!!

  3. Oh my God…I just made this and it is so good!!! I am so glad I found you because your recipes are excellent and they’re for the Instant Pot. Brilliant!
    Thank you so much!!

    1. Hi Roberta! So glad you enjoyed this flavor packed lentil stew recipe. Its a favorite for us too. Thank you for the feedback.

  4. Nice recipe. Tho i’m not a fan of mushed up lentils. I like them when they keep their form. Because of that i wouldn’t use the pressure cooker. Also in true ethio recipe you wouldnt add cilantro and lemon juice. There is ethiopian coriander (korerima) that you can sprinkle at the end.

    1. Hi Mah, Thanks for your feedback. I will def look out for ethiopian coriander in international groceries and try this recipe!

  5. Try adding just the berebere in after the onions are done and roast the spices a bit to bring out more flavor. Then add water and red lentils.

    If you do that, you might have to keep the lid off the onions so they don’t get so moist so the spice can toast right.

    Also, try grinding up a black cardamom (w/o husk) and add that at the end. Yum!

    1. Thank you!! Thank you for all these tips. I can’t wait to try the lentil stew again with your suggestions. I can already smell the roasted spices!!! Mmmmmm and the black cardamom in the end sounds great!! Thanks again!!

    1. Hi Anchal, So you are looking to make “Doro Wot” its is delicious, so you can follow the recipe you have, oil , saute onions, ginger, garlic, tomatoes and berbere spice. Then add chicken drumsticks, 1/4 cup of water, salt. Cook on Manual(Hi) for 8 minute followed by 5 minutes NPR. IT comes out amazing. Try to make berbere spice blend at home using my recipe.

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