This bowl is an Ethiopian spice blend with a fiery red hue that typically combines fenugreek, cardamom, cumin, chile, ginger, paprika, and more, to deliver a warm aroma that’s spicy, sweet, and bitter. The combination and amount of each spice can vary from blend to blend, giving each one subtle nuance, and some (like ours!) can really pack in the heat more than others. Start with 1 tablespoon (8 g) of the mix; if it’s on the mild side, go ahead and add a second tablespoon (8 g) the next time you make this bowl. Tangy pickled fennel, along with cauliflower rice, earthy chard, and fresh cilantro are a nice balance to the warm blend of spices.
Spiced Red Lentil Bowls [Vegan]
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) avocado or extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1-inch (2.5 cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon (8 g) berbere, plus more as desired
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup (190 g) red lentils
- 4 cups (960 ml) low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup (240 ml) canned unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 pound (455 g) cauliflower rice
- 1 bunch red chard, leaves and stems chopped
- 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced and pickled
- 1/4 cup (4 g) chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
- Heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, tomato paste, berbere, coriander, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the lentils, broth, and coconut milk and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cauliflower rice, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Divide among four bowls.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the chard leaves and stems and sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes.
- To serve, spoon the lentils over the cauliflower rice and top with the chard, pickled fennel, and fresh cilantro.