Recipe: Mesir Wat Lentil Stew with Zesty Yogurt

We were running low on fresh vegetables mid-week, so I took a peek in the cupboards to discover a big bag of red lentils. I had come across this Ethiopian recipe a few days before, so F and I, both lentil-lovers, decided to make it together. We enhanced the original recipe by adding a couple of carrots and we used a raw tomato rather than tomato paste. It cooks quite quickly and turned out to be tasty, healthy and filling; we served it over rice but it would be equally as good with some kind of soft naan-like bread. Upon first taste, my mouth was overwhelmed by the smoked paprika, but the zesty yogurt cut the taste and overall the dish grew on me as I continued to eat. We would definitely make this again but would probably alter the spice combination a bit, perhaps adding some cumin and toning down the paprika.

Mesir Wat Lentil Stew with Zesty Yogurt Sauce (adapted from this recipe)


  • Stew:
    • 2 cups red lentils
    • 2 sm-med onions, diced
    • 3 tbsp butter
    • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
    • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tbsp smoked paprika (I’d cut this down to a half tbsp next time)
    • 1 tsp turmeric
    • 1-2 tsp garam masala
    • 1 medium tomato, diced
    • 2 carrots, sliced
    • to taste: salt & pepper
  • Zesty Yogurt:
    • 1 cup Greek yogurt
    • zest from 1 lemon
    • to taste: salt & pepper
carrots and spices brighten things up

carrots and spices brighten things up


  • Saute onions in butter in a big pot until they begin to get soft and brown. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the spices, salt and pepper. Mix together, then add the carrots and tomatoes, stirring for a few minutes.
  • Add the lentils and 6 cups of water. Cover the pot, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 min. (During this step, whip up the zesty yogurt and let it sit in the fridge until you are ready to eat.)
  • Uncover the pot, stir, and cook without a lid for 10-15 more minutes, or until the liquid has mostly evaporated.
  • Serve over rice with a dollop of zesty yogurt on top.




3 thoughts on “Recipe: Mesir Wat Lentil Stew with Zesty Yogurt

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