Ethiopia - Sweet Potato and Lentil Wat

ethiopia-sweet-potato-lentil-wat

This is the quintessential “eat with your hands” dish because of the Injera flatbread. Overall, this is SO tasty, and can be made into a carnivorous meal by adding beef or chicken, but I find it completely unnecessary to do that because this is really hearty and holds up without any meat.

Be warned though! If you’re making this for your Ethiopian friends, make sure to serve the flatbread the right way. In my picture, you see that the “fried” bottom of the flatbread is holding the stew. Yea, I got called out so hard on Instagram that my flatbread was facing the wrong way. The side with the bubbles and cracks that face up while in the pan is actually supposed to be the side holding the stew. My Injera is upside down in the picture.


Ingredients

Spice mix

  • 1 tbsp red chili flakes

  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 1 tsp ground ginger

  • Salt and pepper, a pinch

  • 3 tbsp paprika

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice

  • 1 tsp ground coriander

  • 1/4 tsp ground clove

Stew ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, chopped

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, sub olive oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp ginger, finely minced

  • 1 tbsp spice mix, the rest you can store in a jar on your spice rack

  • 1 cup dried yellow lentils, sub split peas

  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable stock

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1/4 head cabbage, shredded

  • 1 large tomato, chopped

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • Cilantro, to garnish

Injera Flatbread

  • 1 cup wholemeal, spelt, or teff flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast

  • 2/3 cup warm water

Instructions

Spice mix

  1. You will only need about 1 tablespoon of the spice mix, but you can reserve the rest of the blend in a spice jar for future use. You want to grind all the non ground ingredients in a mortar and pestle first. Then, mix all the spice ingredients together.

Sweet potato and lentil stew

  1. In a large skillet or pot, heat the oil over medium heat. When the oil is ready and shimmering, add the onions, season with salt, and stir consistently until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

  2. Add the garlic and ginger, cook for another 2 minutes. If the onions are getting dry, add a splash of the stock. Add 1 tablespoon of spice mix, cabbage, and tomato, and season with salt and pepper.

  3. Next, add the lentils and sweet potatoes. Give it a good stir to incorporate the ingredients currently in the pot, and add the vegetable stock. Bring the stock to a boil, then adjust the heat to low, cover partially, and simmer for about 20-25 minutes. We want the sweet potato and lentils to be soft and cooked through. Uncover and add the lemon juice. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.

  4. Garnish with cilantro.

Injera flatbread

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl to make the batter. Cover with a towel and let sit in a room temperature place for about an hour to let the batter rise a bit. When ready, add another 1/2 cup of water into the mix and give it a really good stir to incorporate all the ingredients.

  2. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Do not use oil. When ready, pour about 1/2 cup of the batter into the pan. Til the pan to spread the batter around to cover the entire base, similar to a crepe. Cook until bubbles and cracks start to appear. Luckily, you don’t need to worry about flipping. It’s done!

Recipe adapted from Food Blog and the Dog.

Print the recipe
 I’m a huge fan of traveling, and an even bigger fan of eating. Have you ever had street food in Taiwan? Or fried cheese with fries at a local tavern in Slovakia? Well, join me each week as I attempt to make a dish from every country in the world.  What country would you like to see next? Let me know in the comments!

I’m a huge fan of traveling, and an even bigger fan of eating. Have you ever had street food in Taiwan? Or fried cheese with fries at a local tavern in Slovakia? Well, join me each week as I attempt to make a dish from every country in the world.

What country would you like to see next? Let me know in the comments!


Recent Recipes