Berbere spiced lentil & barley stew

I don't know about you, but after all a few too many sweets and chocolates over Christmas, I just crave something nourishing.  Add to that the fact we've had no boiler since Christmas Eve in our house, so it needed to warm us up too.  This lentil and barley stew is flavoured with the gorgeous Ethiopian spice, Berbere, and is just what the doctor ordered.  

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 stick of celery, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced/finely chopped
  • 1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp of berbere 
  • 400g of pre-cooked lentils (you can add them uncooked but it will take longer as the salt in the stock can slow the cooking of the lentils)
  • 1/2 cup of pearl barley (approx 80ml in a measuring jug)
  • 500ml of vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  1. Heat the oil in a pan and then add the onion, carrot, and celery
  2. Once the onions begin to go translucent, add the garlic and berbere and mix well
  3. Allow time for the garlic to begin to cook, then add the lentils and stir before mixing in the chopped tomatoes
  4. Add the vegetable stock, stirring as you go
  5. Bring to the boil then add the pearl barley
  6. Set to simmer or transfer to a slow/soup cooker for 45-60 minutes or until the pearl barley is cooked 
  7. If the stew gets too thick, feel free to add a drop more water to get it to your desired consistency
  8. Serve with injera (Ethiopian pancakes) or flat bread 


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