Misir wot (Ethiopian lentil stew)


This richly spiced Ethiopian lentil stew recipe, known locally as misir wot, is packed with flavour from berbere and niter kibbeh, a type of spiced butter found in Ethiopian cuisine. A delicious and simple midweek meal for spice lovers.

First published in 2018

The star of this dish is a wonderfully spiced butter niter kibbeh, infused with garlic, ginger and spices. This recipe makes more than you'd need for the stew, but it keeps in the fridge and is very versatile – try as a filling in this East African sambusa recipe.




Niter kibbeh (spiced butter)

Missir wot


  • Muslin cloth or a coffee filter


Begin by making the niter kibbeh. Place the butter in a saucepan along with the rest of the ingredients and simmer over a very low heat for about 20 minutes. The butter solids should be starting to caramelise into a beurre noisette but be careful not to cook too long, or it will burn
Line a sieve with a piece of muslin or coffee filter and strain the butter into a bowl
To make the stew, add 4 tbsp of the niter kibbeh to a medium pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook over a medium-low heat until softened
Add the berbere and tomato purée and cook out for a further minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook down for 8 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down a little. Keep stirring to avoid them sticking to the bottom of the pan
Rinse the lentils, then add them to the stew along with 500ml stock. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
Serve the misir wot with extra niter kibbeh drizzled over the top

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