Tag Archives: potato stew

The Art of Ethiopian: Part 3 – Potatoes & Lentils


Welcome to part three of my four-part Art of Ethiopia Cuisine post series! If you’ve been following along, you already know how to make Minchet-Abesh Alicha, Doro Wat, Yasa Tibs, and know Injera is just around the corner!

The stars of this post were considered side dishes to us meat-eaters, but could easily stand alone in an all-vegetarian meal. This is all about the tubers and lentils.

Lentils for Lent, ha. That should be a thing too.

Lentil stew is called “Mesir Wat” (remember Wats?) and the recipe I based mine off of is HERE at A Spicy Perspective. The two potato stew starring both Yukon classics and sweet potatoes was of my own invention.

I had had something similar at the Nile, an Ethiopian restaurant near me, and was trying to replicate it. I think it’s pretty darn close. I made a small batch, but you could easily scale it up to however many potatoes you want to use.

The Art of Ethiopian Cuisine: Part 1 – Beef & Pork
The Art of Ethiopian Cuisine: Part 2 – Chicken & Fish
The Art of Ethiopian Cuisine: Part 3 – Potatoes & Lentils
The Art of Ethiopian Cuisine: Part 4 – Cheese, Greens, & Injera

Ingredients (2 Potato Stew):

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 large baking potatoes
  • 1 cup water/stock
  • Garlic salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

Step 1: Dice the potatoes into tiny pieces. The smaller the pieces, the faster they will cook. Just try to make the pieces uniform in size.


Step 2: I used my rice cooker for this. Because I’m in love with this appliance. You can use a small slow cooker too, or a small sauce pot on the stove. Put the potatoes in, and add the spices and liquid.

Cook on low for at least 30 minutes, or until ready to serve.

About 10 minutes prior to dinner, add the cornstarch. Make sure it mixes in well, no-one wants a cornstarch bomb. This will thicken the sauce, but is not absolutely required.

Ingredients (Mesir Wat):

  • 1 cup lentils (any color, I had brown)
  • 1.5 cups water/stock
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced onion
  • 1 tsp garlic salt

Step 1: Combine all ingredients in a small slow cooker, or sauce pot on the stove.

Step 2: Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for at least 30-60 minutes, until lentils are soft and fully cooked.

You can leave them in there foreeeeeever, just keep stirring occasionally so they don’t stick and burn on the bottom, and add more liquid as needed.


These were really tasty, I liked the slight tomato and garlic flavor.

Thickened up nicely after about 1 hour in the crock pot. I like lentils a lot, and this would be tasty with some added veggies as a meal unto itself!

More to come: Cheese, Greens & Injera