Ethiopian Lentil Stew (Misir Wot)

If you can’t stand the heat, then you better stay out the Ethiopian Kitchen!

It’s not that Ethiopian food doesn’t have a range of mild flavoured dishes, they do, but pepper is so essential to the cuisine that to avoid it is to essentially ban yourself from the whole experience!

Ethiopian Cuisine: I haven’t tasted anything so lip-smackingly delicious in a good long time! I’m gonna be stuck on this for a while!

Ok admittedly the last time I tasted authentic Ethiopian cuisine was about a year ago where I just happened to walk by a small take away 5 minutes walk down Kingsland High Street in Dalston, London. They offer a selection of stews or ‘wots’ with a combination or rice or the infamous Injera bread, all for just £4!!

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Kingland High Street, Dalston, London

Many Ethiopian’s are Orthodox Christians who traditionally eat vegan on Wednesdays and Fridays, as well as other special days,  hence why there is such a wide selection of vegan/vegetarian Ethiopian dishes.

This recipe is adapted from the more classic Misir Wot, which literally means ‘lentil stew’; I have added sweet potato, coconut milk and spinach to this mix.

This is also my first time using my new found Ethiopian spice blend home made brebere which I made virtually a few minutes before assembling this dish. I didn’t taste the stew till the very end, and when I did, let me tell you I almost burnt my mouth going for a second helping, I was surprised! With such a wide range of spices all packed in one blend, I was expecting a bitter, confused taste, instead – pure harmony, I could taste everything, not overpowering at all. So step away scotch bonnet! There’s a new kid in town!

More Ethiopian dishes to come!

 

Ethiopian Lentil Stew (Misir Wot) 

 

INGREDIENTS

2 medium sized sweet potatoes – cut into chunks

1/2 white onion, sliced

2 large garlic cloves – crushed

1 tsp finger chopped fresh ginger

1 tbsp coconut oil – frying

1 1/4 cup green lentils – pre-cooked

1 tbsp Tomato Paste or 2 plum tomatoes (crushed) with a little juice

2 1/2 tsp of Homemade Berbere Spice

1 cup Coconut Milk

2 cups of boiling water

1 chicken or vegetable stock jelly

3-4 Pimento Seeds

1 generous handful of spinach

 

METHOD

  1. In a bowl dissolve the stock jelly in the 2 cups of hot water with the pimento seeds. Set aside.
  2. Soften the onions slowly in a deep pot with the coconut oil for 5-6 minutes
  3. Add the garlic and ginger – 2 minutes
  4. Stir in the berbere spice, take it off the fire to allow it to slowly cook
  5. Return the pot to the fire and add the tomatoes, allow it to reduce for 2 minutes, until the water has evaporated.
  6. Add the sweet potato and stir
  7. Add the lentils, stir (medium heat)
  8. Add the stock liquid, pimento seeds and coconut milk. Cover and allow to simmer for 10-5 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender
  9. Stir the spinach in at the end. Season to taste.
  10. Serve with rice

 

Coconut Lentils w/ Honey Roasted Salmon

 

 

It’s with sadness that I have to announce that this recipe will be the final act in the ‘Beat the Bloat’ series. It’s been really special guys, I have loved the research and creating these recipes, I have learnt so much about correct food combinations and clean eating, all without losing out on taste and all within a reasonable budget.

I am working on some other food projects even as we speak, so if you don’t hear from me in the next few days it’s because I’m planning and experimenting away! All of these recipes have many more benefits to your health and well-being more than simply getting into those pair of jeans you bought a year ago, although that has its place too!

I hope the recipes have more than just inspired you…what would be truly amazing is if you tried making one of them and really liked it –  a lot! That would bring a smile to my face, your tummy would also be happy too!

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Honey roasted salmon. I love smoked honey roasted salmon and there is always a way to artificially re-create that flavour; but I didn’t want to add too many artificial condiments to this recipe.

I love the colour and texture of this dish, it really is one for sharing. Be sure not to over cook the salmon; make it the last thing that you cook and try not to re-heat it, otherwise it tastes all chewy.

Then bask in the sunshine on your plate and enjoy a fork full of honey roasted goodness…until next time!

 

Coconut Lentils w/ Honey Roasted Salmon

Ingredients

For the Salmon:

2 Salmon fillets

Thumb size piece of fresh ginger (finely grated)

1 Tbsp Honey

Juice of half a lime

1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

1 tbsp Soya Sauce

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 Himalayan Pink Salt

2 garlic cloves crushed

1/4 white onion (finely grated)

 

For the Lentils:

1 cup Puy Lentils

3 cups water

1 vegetable stock cube/ jelly

1/4 Scotch bonnet pepper

1/2 tbsp Curry paste

1/2 Onion finely chopped

2 garlic cloves crushed

1 tsp tomato paste

1 tbsp of coconut cream (from a solid block) or 2 tbsp of coconut milk

Pinch of salt

2 Kaffir leaves

 

For the Roasted Vegetables:

2 Sweet Peppers (one red, yellow)

1/2 White Onion

1 garlic crushed

5 Chestnut Brown Mushrooms (cut into quarters)

3 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 carrot cut into chunks

Pinch of salt

2 tbsp of Olive Oil.

 

Handful of Kale (steamed)

 

Method

Preparation:

Pre-heat the Oven (Gas Mark 6)

1. Chop up the vegetables for roasting (excluding the Kale and peppers) and place them in a bowl (without the oil).

2. Prepare the marinade for the Salmon. Once you have cleaned the fish marinade it with the seasoning and transfer to the fridge.

 

Cooking:

3. Take the Lentils, water and vegetable stock and transfer to a pot. Bring the pot to a boil and then simmer for 20-5 mins until the water is reduced and the lentils are firm but cooked.

4. You may roast the sweet peppers with the other vegetables or you can do so over an open flame as I did: take each of the peppers and rest it over a open flame on the cooker, turning the pepper as the skin begins to blacken.

5. When you have finished the first pepper, transfer it to a sealed container (or bowl with a plate over it), the steam will help to soften the skin to make it easier to peel off. Do the same with the second one.

6. Now take the baking tray to roast the vegetables in, add the oil and garlic and transfer to the hot oven. Bring out the tray when the pan is heated, you should be able to add the vegetables to a sizzling pan and return it to the oven for 10 minutes. Near the end, you can add the peppers so that all the flavours from the vegetables are soaked up.

7. When the lentils are cooked, take a separate pot and fry the onions, garlic, pepper and curry paste. Then add the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute.

8. Then straining the lentils but keeping the water, transfer the lentils to the pot of onions and stir adding all the lentils in and stirring completely.

9. Then add the water from the lentils and coconut milk. Season to taste and simmer for 5 minutes leaving a little sauce in the stew.

10. Take the vegetables out the oven and throw in the Salmon for 10 minutes or until the salmon is cooked.

11. To steam the Kale, simply place it on top of the lentil stew and cover with the pot cover; the steam from the lentils will cook the Kale – it should be a nice bright green and slightly firm.

 

Plate up:

12. Place the Kale on the plate first with a sprinkle of lentils, then add some of the roasted vegetables and keep layering. Then flake the Salmon on top of the plate.