Friday, July 30, 2010

Ethiopian Lentils with Sweet Potatoes

I went to Ethiopia this month!  Through Regional Recipes, we get to go to a new country every month.  

So I found this recipe and thought it sounded great!  It called for fenugreek.  I had never heard of it.  This isn't something you can get at your local grocery store.  So there is an Indian market not too far and we found it there.  We got a 7 oz. bag for $1.29.  Very cheap.  I did have to laugh when I looked at it though.  

I found it humorous that we put Meth Powder in this meal.  Maybe that's why it was so good.  Sorry, weird sense of humor.

I didn't know what fenugreek was but according to reviews it was "essential" for the dish.  So I get all the spices together and start cooking and realize it smells just like curry.  So I look at my jar of curry and the second ingredient is fenugreek. I didn't know curry was a blend of a whole bunch of spices (most of which are in this dish).  Shows how much I know about spices.  So moral of the story, if you sub curry for the fenugreek you'll be fine.  

I still say it's fun to say we had meth powder in our dinner though. :-) 

I think this was supposed to be a stew but we cooked most of the liquid out.  According to my research on Ethiopian Cuisine, they often don't use utensils and they scoop their food with injera, a sourdough flatbread.  I wasn't motivated enough to make injera. So we super Americanized this and served it on a tortilla.  If anyone knows me, they know that we eat almost everything on a tortilla.  It was delicious and super low calorie!

I also think this would be great served on top of a curry rubbed grilled chicken. Either way I am super glad I went to Ethiopia and I for sure will be making this again! 

Ethiopian Lentils with Sweet Potatoes Recipe

1 large onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
1/2 red sweet pepper, diced
1/2 cup lentils
2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 1/4 cups water
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground fenugreek (or curry)
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tbsp. soy sauce
Black pepper

Saute onion, garlic, ginger and sweet potatoes in olive oil at medium heat for about 5 - 7 minutes.  Add the red pepper and saute for another minute or two.  Add the lentils, tomato paste and water.  Bring to a boil.  Add the spices.  Lower heat and allow the stew to simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender and all the water is absorbed.  Add soy sauce and pepper to taste. 

Total calories = 708 calories
6 servings = 118 calories per serving

2 - 100 calorie whole wheat tortillas with Ethiopian Lentils & Sweet Potatoes = 436 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.


  1. Fighting the urge to make this right now! This looks so tasty, and I think I have everything on hand. You know how I feel about sweet potatoes. :)

  2. This Ethiopian meal looks wonderful. Very satisfying and delicious. I would enjoy this meal.

  3. I would love to try this one..i love potatoes too..

    low calorie meals

  4. Ha! I also love that you put meth powder in your dinner. That makes me incredibly happy.

    I love this dish! Sweet potatoes and lentils...totally my kind of thing. Thanks so much for the submission and for all of your support of Regional Recipes! It's always fun to have you cook along and I REALLY appreciate your devotion to it!

  5. I wanted to do one of the regional recipes but I am holding out until we move. I didn't want to buy all these exotic ingredients just to throw it out a month later.

    Your dish looks delicious! The bag of powder worries me some but other than that it looks good. HaHa.

  6. It does look good Debbi! I love the lentils in this. I have blended my own curry (there are so many) for quite sometime and garam masala (another spice blend, but without turmeric) since The Frugal Gourmet, but I have always had a thing for spices. I get them in any amount that I want from The Granary or Richard's Whole Foods, both health food store are so close to me.

    Your a real trooper Debbi! I love it!

  7. It does look good! Nice work trying the "meth powder" HA HA!! Loved how you showed your cute sense of humor.

  8. Looks like another winner. I've got this saved to my recipe file.

  9. You make me sad. I honestly tried to get a recipe in but I couldn't handle it, this month. I want to do it for Joanne. She puts so much into all that she does.

    Hopefully, next month.

  10. Now, that I have stopped feeling sorry for myself, I am impresses to the extremes you want to get all the ingredients. You are my role model.

  11. That looks great. My friends and i just did a whole Ethiopian thing a little while ago (I blogged about it), so I learned a little about their spices. I was unfamilar with fenugreek too but since then I have learned a bit more about it including it is good to keep up breast milk production. Who knew?! Great post!

  12. This was delicious! My family enjoyed it a great deal. It took a bit longer to get the lentils tender but worth it. I just added some chicken broth as the water evaporated and it was fine. Thanks!!

  13. Wanted to tell you that I stumbled across your recipe recently and made it Monday night for dinner. Everyone loved it, and the leftovers were gone the next day. Thank you!

  14. I am definitely going to try this. We love both sweet potatoes and lentils and also have never knowingly had fenugreek. I love this kind of dish so thanks for posting it. :)

  15. Sounds and looks good. I'm not familiar with foreign foods and spices. I'll post on my healthy eating guide.