These three Ethiopian stew recipes are simple and budget friendly, yet the level of deliciousness to these meals is off the chart. The first is a stew made from red lentils, the second is made from yellow split peas, and the third is made from spinach. Each stew is cooked with the purée of fresh ginger and garlic and includes minimal effort to make. Serve over injera or your favorite flatbread, as traditionally, Ethiopian food is eaten with your hands.

3 Ethiopian Stews [Vegan, Grain-Free]



4 per stew



For the Ginger and Garlic Purées:

  • A few fresh ginger roots
  • 20 garlic cloves

For the Misir Wot (Spicy Lentils):

  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon berbere spice blend
  • 1 small can of tomato paste (or double the berbere spice instead)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger purée
  • 1 tablespoon garlic purée
  • 1 cup dried red lentils, washed
  • 3 cups water (or more if needed)
  • Salt to taste (berbere spice blend does have salt)

For the Ater Kik (Yellow Split Pea Stew):

  • 1 cup dried yellow split peas, washed
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 medium yellow onions, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoon garlic purée
  • 2 tablespoon ginger purée
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1-2 jalapenos cut long ways (de-seeded)
  • Salt to taste

For the Gomen Wot (Spinach Stew):

  • 1 16-ounce bag frozen (or a bag of fresh) spinach
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic puree
  • 2 tablespoons ginger puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt to taste


To Make the Ginger and Garlic Purées:

  1. Chop as much ginger as will fit in a small blender. Pulse ginger a few times to break it up.
  2. Add a few tablespoons or 1/4 cup then blend until smooth.
  3. Put 20 cloves of garlic in a small blender. Pulse garlic a few times to break it up.
  4. Add a few tablespoons or 1/4 cup then blend until smooth.

To Make the Misir Wot:

  1. Cook lentils according to package instructions. It takes about 30 minutes. Add water and lentils to a pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to med-low until lentils disintegrate. Add more water if needed.
  2. Heat up oil in a separate pot on medium. Add onions and sprinkle in salt.
  3. Cook onions for 5 minutes and stir frequently.
  4. After 5 minutes stir in berbere, ginger purée and garlic purée to onions.
  5. After 5 minutes of letting the spices cook into the onions add tomato paste.
  6. Mix cooked lentils into the spiced onions.

To Make the Ater Kik:

  1. Cook split peas with a lid. Add water with split peas. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to med. It takes about 30 minutes or longer to get soft. Add additional water if needed.
  2. Heat oil in a separate pot. Add onions, stir and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add ginger and garlic purée to the onions.
  4. After 1 minute of the ginger and garlic purée cooking with the onions add in the turmeric. Add salt to taste.
  5. Once split peas are cooked mix them into the spiced onion mixture. If the peas have a lot of water left in the pot you can drain them. If peas are soft and a lot of the water has absorbed and evaporated out then don’t worry about it draining the pot.
  6. Mix sliced jalapenos to the stew.

To Make the Gomen Wot:

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add onions and salt to taste. Cook for 5 minutes
  2. Add garlic, ginger, and turmeric. Cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add spinach. Cook tunil spinach is soft.

Nutritional Information

Misir Wot: Calories: 530 | Carbs: 29g | Fat: 41g | Protein: 11g | Sugar: 1g | Sodium: 2mg Ater Kik: Calories: 122 | Carbs: 29g | Fat: 0g | Protein: 10g | Sugar: 3g | Sodium: 21mg Gomen Wot: Calories: 135 | Carbs: 1g | Fat: 14g | Protein: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Sodium: 17mg Note: Nutrition info for total calories. Excludes ginger-garlic purée, spices, and salt to taste Note: The information shown is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.