Spicy Ethiopian Stew cooked in Instant Pot

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Even if you're not familiar with Ethiopian cuisine, don't let that stop you from making this FANTABULOUS meal. Eat it alone or serve it with a crispy green salad with a light vinegary dressing.

HERE'S ALL YOU NEED to Makes 6 Servings

1½ cups dried lentils
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3-5 teaspoons Berbere Seasoning
5 cups vegetable broth
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 1/2 cups butternut squash, cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons pureed ginger
1/2 (16-ounce) bag chopped frozen spinach

Pressure cooker method
Place all the ingredients in the pressure cooker, lock on lid, pressure cook with high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow pressure to go down on its own before removing lid.

Stove top method
Place all the ingredients in a large pot over medium to medium-low heat. Simmer until the lentils are tender, 45–55 minutes. Be watchful as not to overcook the lentils because they can turn to mush. Add water if necessary to thin the stew.

Berbere Seasoning

Makes 6–7 tablespoons

2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1 teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 tablespoons paprika
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Mix all the ingredients and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

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42 thoughts on “Spicy Ethiopian Stew cooked in Instant Pot

  1. berbere spice where can I find this? i’ve only seen a few of your videos….I like them. Where R u located -Did you say Central Market -I am South Of Seattle and we have Central Markets? Where do u live?

    1. +Dianne RawGirl Here’s the recipe I followed for Berbere:

       BERBERE SPICE
      Makes 6–7 tablespoons

      2 teaspoons ground cumin
      1 teaspoon ground cardamom
      ½ teaspoon ground allspice
      1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
      1 teaspoon ground coriander
      ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
      1 teaspoon black pepper
      4 teaspoons red pepper flakes
      1 teaspoon ground ginger
      1 teaspoon ground turmeric
      3 tablespoons paprika
      ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

      Mix all the ingredients and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

    2. Central Market (s) is an upscale grocery chain here in Texas, operated by the (regular) grocery company HEB. I noticed in this vid that Ms. Jill was using a can of HEB store brand tomato paste, so she might be shopping at a local HEB or Central Market. CM stores have a very large bulk spice area, great for buying a little or a lot of what ever ingredient you need. They are, generally speaking, cheaper (sometimes WAY cheaper) than Whole Foods stores, and carry very high quality foods, fresh meats and fabulous produce, as well as a number of organic products. They are by far my favorite store. Their bakery area is incredible.

      I don’t know off hand if they have any stores outside Texas, though. I’ve seen them in Houston, San Antonio and Dallas/Fort worth, and I think in Austin. When I lived in Houston, the regular HEB grocery stores were my favorite “regular” grocery. I kind of like the company as a whole, though I am basing that solely on my having shopped in the stores.

  2. Can I get a “WOOT WOOT!!!” Oh yeah. I’ll figure out how to make my own Bere Bere. I kept watching for this video to pop up and here it is – YEAH! I made a great dinner tonight using the Instant Pot. It is so good I am going to film it. I’ll say, black beans and quinoa. Oh yeah!! Great job Jill. 😉

    1. +busyzgirl  BERBERE SPICE

      Makes 6–7 tablespoons

      2 teaspoons ground cumin
      1 teaspoon ground cardamom
      ½ teaspoon ground allspice
      1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
      1 teaspoon ground coriander
      ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
      1 teaspoon black pepper
      4 teaspoons red pepper flakes
      1 teaspoon ground ginger
      1 teaspoon ground turmeric
      3 tablespoons paprika
      ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

      Mix all the ingredients and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

    2. +Simple Daily Recipes Thank you so very much. Is it weird I have all of these ingredients on hand?

    3. +busyzgirl If so, then I’m weird right along with you. Yea, ok, we’re weird. ;D

    1. I haven’t had Ethiopian food before, I just always see it served with the injera bread. 🙂 but i do want to try it, I love ethnic food and I hear that Ethiopian food is really good. I’m glad you shared this stew! 🙂

    2. +angela14962002 Of all the cuisines, Ethiopian is my favorite favorite. This is great recipe for introducing Ethiopian to your family. I bought Teff Love, a vegan Ethiopian cookbook a few weeks ago. I haven’t made anything from it, yet, but I will once I’ve studied through it a bit more.

    3. Cool! I will look for that book on amazon. I’m eating a lot of salads right now…fruit, yogurt, raw cookies, etc., that’s my cheat to get out of cooking! 🙂 I have to watch your videos to get the urge to cook. 🙂 …and that’s probably why I like the instant pot, for when I do cook, so that I can get in and out of the kitchen quickly! I’m lazy! Lol!

    4. +angela14962002 Oh you’re not lazy. You’re super efficient with your time in the kitchen. ;D

  3. This looks delicious. I have not had Ethiopian food before. I am anxious to make it. Today is my husband’s birthday. He does not eat anything spicy hot, not even a little bit spicy. I on the other hand go through cayenne pepper which I add to my individual plate. I know he would love this cause butternut squash is his favorite squash. So the question is what spices could I use to get Ethiopian flavors with out heat?

    1. No worries, Jill. I found your recipe for the Berbere spice below. I can just omit the red pepper flakes. It is similar to a spice combo that I just made up one day and we loved. I didn’t have fenugreek but the rest is all there. I didn’t make this last night but I am fixing to make it today.

  4. Please change your title to Ethiopian inspired, because it is that at best. The combinations of ingredients you used is very strange to all Ethiopians. We don’t mix legumes and vegetables together when we cook. Most “stew” like dishes in Ethiopian cuisine require finely minced onions (a lot) which you cook down by itself and then add oil to cook it some more which takes a lot of time. Then you add spices and cook the onions and spices while adding a small amount of water at a time. Then we add minced garlic and ginger and cook it some more. Finally we add either meats or legumes and  sometimes potatoes or pumpkin and cook it for a long time. Then the “stew” becomes thick and NOT watery. For vegetable dishes we cook them similar to stir fry adding ginger, garlic and sometimes turmeric.  Ethiopian food takes a LOT of time to cook in order to develop flavor so there is NO way you can cook “stew-like” dishes in a few hours. As for the berbere spice, it is wrong. The best thing you can do is buy imported berbere which you can find in many ethiopian stores/markets in your city or order it from companies that import it (not make it) to the US.

    1. I understand that, but if you want to make Ethiopian “stew” you need to cook the finely diced onions first by themselves and then using oil, and then add the spices and cook them together. Then if you want to use a pressure cooker, you can put the rest of the ingredients along with the already cooked onions and spices inside.  You can’t just throw everything inside at the same time. That way you won’t develop any flavor and the “stew” will be watery when it is supposed to be thick. Some cuisines use dairy to thicken up their stews, we use onions that have been cooked for hours. Hope this helps

    2. Ok! Thanks for the tip! I personally water saute my onions because I don’t want the extra oil in my diet. The water evaporates so it doesn’t make the onions watery. Would you eat this with injera ? I love injera!

    3. Yes, you can eat it will injera. So if you see the way she made it, you can see the “stew” is watery when it is supposed to be thick. That is what I meant. Enjoy!

    4. +MrLulu2012 I’m curious what kind of meal / what dishes an Ethiopian cook would make from the listed ingredients (maybe with more indigenous ingredients?). I like a lot of onion, cooked down. I’m thinking perhaps the onions might work ‘InstantPotted’ by themselves to achieve an equivalent of your long slow cooking. The pressure is supposed to achieve faster tenderization and, since little steam escapes during the cooking, no need for watching and adding more liquid. For WFPB the oil step would have to be skipped. Then followed by garlic and ginger with some more pressure cooking. Then what? You say no legumes and vegetables together, but potatoes and pumpkin are vegetables. ? Is it the greens you wouldn’t put in a stew? How would you cook the greens (spinach/kale/collards/cabbage – whatever is used there)? Where might what grains come into such a meal? I’m interested to know. Thanks. (It does look more like soup than like stew, I agree. I also agree it should probably be labeled ‘Ethiopian inspired’, as you say. Still, it’s rather adventurous of us Americans to approach a foreign cuisine, don’t you think? 🙂

    1. Chopped garlic and minced ginger. I showed the jar of minced ginger and accidentally said garlic. The full recipe posted in the video description is correct.

  5. This is wonderfully delicious! I substituted a handful of raisins for the maple syrup and omitted the red pepper flakes for my husband. This recipe will get lots of attention in our house. Thanks for sharing!

  6. MUST make this! I love Etheopian food! There are two really good Etheopian restaurants here in New JErsey! you gotta try your hand at making injera, soooo good!
    xo Michele

  7. You look like you’re suffering with that silly knife. You need to invest in a few ulus. You know what they are, right? My ex boss brought me back one from Alaska more then twelve years ago and I’ve been addicted ever since. I have four or five in my collection and recently purchased a sharpener and the dvd from the Ulu factory. Look up some videos on youtube. Once you go ulu, you won’t go back. 🙂

    http://theulufactory.com/

    Oh, and don’t ask me why I created this message. I was watching you chop and I thought of my ulu. I don’t receive any compensation for this. I just love my ulu. If you do decide to get one, try and go for the ulu and bowl combination. They bowl on the cutting board is perfectly shaped for the ulu blade.

  8. At 4:19 you say that you’re putting in minced garlic, but the jar says it’s minced ginger. Is it indeed garlic? This recipe looks great and I want to try it.

  9. I added carrots and potatoes to the stew as well

    the leftovers I added curry powder and made it into a veg curry yummy

  10. You are a nut! I am so enjoying your videos. I ordered an instant pot today, can’t wait to get mine. Thanks so much for sharing.

  11. Hi Jill! I sent you a Instagram message..but maybe you’ll see it quicker here. I’m going to make this tonight, but I’m out of brown lentils. My store either has, french, red, green, or beluga. What would be the best to substitute for brown? Thank you 🙂

    1. I’m just now seeing this! I’d go with French lentils. They will hold up better. You want to see the lentils, not have them dissolve into a soup.

  12. I’m berry berry sad can’t find find this berry berry anywhere, can I use Ber Berea instead?

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