By Marcus Samuelsson | December 1, 2010

Photo: frabisa

For an easy and filling meal for four, try my recipe for Lentil Stew from Soul of a New Cuisine. The lentils are full of protein and will leave you feeling satisfied and content.  I love a warm bowl of this stew on chilly fall evenings.

Here’s my tip for peeling the fava beans.  Blanch the beans in boiling water for 30 seconds and then plunge them into an ice water bath.  This will make it easy to remove the skins and press out the tender inner bean.

I’ve also included my recipe for Berbere, which is a universal seasoning in Ethiopia.  It’s traditionally used in stews, but I also use it as a rub for beef and lamb.

Lentil Stew Recipe

Servings: 4


Lentil Stew
  • 1 cup lentils, soaked in cold water for 2 hours and drained
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tomatoes, roughly chopped, or one 15-ounce can tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup peeled fava beans
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tsp Berbere or chili powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 cup ground dried Serrano chiles or other ground dried chilies
  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom, preferably freshly ground
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice


For Berbere:

1. Finely grind the fenugreek seeds with a mortar and pestle or in an electric spice or coffee grinder. Stir together with the remaining ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.

2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

For Lentil Stew:

1. Combine the lentils with the 3 cups water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, lentils, fava beans, lemon juice, Berbere or chili powder, parsley, and salt and heat through.

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