There is just not a beautiful way to serve a scoop of lentils. No matter how amazing they taste, how perfectly they are spiced, the visual is just not that inspiring. Or maybe that’s just me. Do you have a secret you’d care to share?

Anyway, as I mentioned a couple days ago, I was infatuated with the Yemisir Kik Wot I had tasted recently and wanted to try my hand making it at home. Thanks to a favorite cookbook of mine and some internet research, I made a plan. It wouldn’t be 100% authentically Ethiopian, perhaps, but that mattered much less to me than that it be really, really good.

First, I made my berbere paste.

one pot

And then I made a Yemisir Kik Wot that was only a slightly tweaked version of this recipe, adaptations based on what I had on hand, the potency of my spices, and the fact that I could not seem to pry the lid off my canister of turmeric (!!) more than any serious reason I saw to alter the original.

The kitchen being absent of any freshly baked injera, I served mine with a pile of kale sautéed in oil, garlic, and ginger, with a dab of harissa on the side, since I just happened to have some on hand (ahem).

Yemisir Kik Wot
variation on this recipe from Marla in the Kitchen

1/4 cup olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. ginger, minced
2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. garam masala
1 1/2 tsp. berbere paste
3/4 cup canned diced tomatoes
12 oz. small red lentils
4-5 cups vegetable broth, as needed

Heat the oil in a 4 qt. soup pot and sauté the onion until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for several minutes more. Next, add all the spices to the pot, stirring continuously to prevent burning. After a minute or two, add the tomatoes and cook for five minutes, stirring frequently.

Finally, add the stock and lentils, and simmer until they are very soft and have melded together, about 45 minutes.