Laurens van der Post, traveler and author, wrote that the Ethiopian system of fasting - refraining from meat and fish - especially during the eight weeks of Lent before Easter has “compelled (them) to concentrate on vegetarian substitutes for meat as no other culture in Africa has done”. This has produced a rich variety of vegetable wats or stews using a spice paste (berberé) combined with lentils, as in this recipe, or with other vegetables and pulses.


1 onion, chopped

2 - 3 teaspoons berberé paste

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 cups / 450 g brown or red lentils, cooked





Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy pan and sauté the onion. When it is soft and turning golden, add the berberé paste and garlic and mix in well.

Cook for a minute or two and then add a little water and 2 more tablespoons of oil.

Mash the cooked lentils and put these into the onion mix; stir often so that the mixture does not burn.

Now pour in a little more water and sprinkle in salt to taste. Cook for 5 - 10 minutes longer to let the flavors expand and then set aside to cool. Serve warm or cool with funkaso (millet pancakes).


Serves 4 - 6.


country : Ethiopia

course : vegan dish


source : The World in Your Kitchen : Vegetarian recipes from Africa, Asia and Latin Americafor Western kitchens with country Information and food facts / Troth Wells


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