Ethiopian Stew is an easy slow-cooked one-pot dish.  It is slightly spicy, sweet, and rich in flavors.  This recipe uses berbere spice, which is a key ingredient in many Ethiopian dishes.  It’s a combination of more than ten individual spices!  This stew pairs beautifully with Sweet potato flatbread.  The added sweet potatoes and spices make this flatbread a perfect accompaniment with so many soups and stews.   Photo by Diana Goldman via Beantown Kitchen

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🥄 Kitchen Tools 

  • Large soup pot (or Instant Pot)
  • Medium saucepan
  • Knives & peeler 
  • Cutting board
  • Potato Masher (or large fork for mashing)
  • Spatula and spoons
  • Small and Medium size mixing bowls
  • Rolling pin
  • Nonstick griddle (I recommend ceramic surface griddles)

 Ethiopian Stew

Prep time    15 minutes  

Cook time   15-60 minutes    

Yield              4-6 servings

🌱 Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups dried green or brown lentils
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Berbere Spice
  • 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (4 cups if using an Instant Pot)
  • 1 red onion, diced medium
  • 4 cups butternut squash, cut into 2-inch chunks (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or 3-4 pitted dates)
  • 2 tablespoons pureed ginger
  • 2 cups chopped frozen spinach

    👩‍🍳 Directions

    Stovetop Directions:

    1. Place all the ingredients into a large soup pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a low-simmer and cook until the lentils are tender, 45-60 minutes. Do not overcook because the lentils will turn to mush.  Add the spinach during the last 5 minutes of cooking.  
    2. Add water if necessary, to thin the stew. I sometimes like to add extra tomato paste for a richer flavor. 

    Instant Pot® Directions:

    1. Place all the ingredients in the Instant Pot. Cover with lid then turn the lid clockwise to lock into place.  Align the pointed end of the steam release handle to point to “Sealing.”
    2. Press [Manual], use [-] button to adjust cooking time to 15 minutes.
    3. When time is up, quick release the steam and remove lid.  Allow the stew to cool for 10 minutes before serving. 

     ✏️Tips & Hints 

    • Butternut squash can be substituted with sweet potato without changing the cook time. 


          Sweet Potato Flatbread

          Prep time    30 minutes  

          Cook time   5-8 minutes    

          Yield               4 servings   

          🌱 Ingredients

          • 1 1/2 cups finely mashed sweet potatoes (about 2 potatoes)
          • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour plus extra for rolling.
          • 1 teaspoon baking powder
          • 1 teaspoon chili powder
          • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
          • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
          • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
          • 1/4-1/2 Sea Salt or to taste

            👩‍🍳 Directions

            1. Peel, cook, and finely mash sweet potatoes.  Place 1 1/2 cups of the mashed sweet potatoes in a medium size mixing bowl.  
            2. In a small mixing bowl, blend the flour, baking powder, spices and salt. 
            3. When the potatoes begin to cool slightly, add half of the flour mixture and mix until the flour is well incorporated. Add the remaining flour mixture and combine with your hands until a dough begins to form.  If the mixture is too wet and sticky, add 3-4 tablespoons of flour.  
            4. Cover the dough with a towel and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
            5. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Flour the work surface (I recommend parchment paper or wax paper) and begin rolling each dough piece into a large pancake size circle, about 5-6 inches in diameter.  Keep a bowl of flour nearby so you can add flour to the surface of the rolling pin or flatbread if it begins to stick. Flip and dust the flatbread occasionally so it won't stick to the working surface. 
            6. Preheated a nonstick griddle on medium-high heat. Place the flatbreads on the griddle and cook for 1-2 minutes. You will notice bubbles forming as it begins to cook inside. Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
            7. Once the flatbread is cooked, stack them on top of each other and cover with a dish towel.  This will keep them soft and warm.
            8. Serve with your favorite soups and stews or use them as sandwich wraps! Store in airtight gallon baggies. 

            ✏️Tips & Hints 

            • The moisture content in sweet potatoes varies depending on the variety, age, and method of cooking.  You may need more flour than recommended so I suggest adding enough flour until you have a workable dough.  
            • You can also use oat flour in this recipe but the dough will be much more delicate to work with and may be slightly more difficult to roll.  Oat flour also creates a more delicate final wrap but the taste is still amazing!


              Ethiopian Stew and Sweet Potato Flatbread Grocery List 🛒

                   Produce 🥦

              • 4 garlic cloves
              • 1 red onion
              • 2 tablespoons pureed ginger
              • 3 cups of butternut squash (about one 2 pounds)
              • 2 sweet potatoes 

                   Beans and Legumes

              • 1 1/2 cups dried green or brown lentils 

                   Baking & Spices 🌶

              • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
              • 1 1/2 tablespoons berbere spice
              • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour plus extra for rolling
              • 1 teaspoon baking powder
              • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
              • 1 teaspoon chili powder
              • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
              • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
              • Sea salt

                   Canned and Jarred Goods 🥫

              • 5 cups low sodium vegetable broth
              • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

                   Frozen Foods ❄️ 

              • 2 cups of frozen spinach (or 1 pound fresh spinach) You can also substitute another green leafy vegetable here such as kale or Swiss chard.




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