Misir Wat with Sunflower Seed Spread

This Ethiopian red lentil stew is spiced with a unique blend called berbere that is heavy on the cayenne, so if you like heat, this dish is the one for you!  The lentils add a heartiness that leaves you full and happy after your meal.  I added spiced cabbage and carrots also called Atakilt Wat on the side.  The recipe is from Vegan Richa.  The pesto is a take on Yesuf Fitfit, an Ethiopian sunflower seed dipping sauce.  The tofu in it makes it bulkier and more suited for topping the dish instead of dipping.  Let me know what you think!

Note: this recipe uses an Instant Pot pressure cooker.  If one is not available for your use, the recipe can be created by slow cooking the beans on the stove or cooking in a crock pot.  Your choice!


Misir Wat

  • 2 cups red lentils, dry
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 L veggie broth
  • ½ tsp. berbere spice (more if you want the dish spicier)
  • 1 Tbsp. date sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sunflower Seed Spread

  • ½ cup sunflower seeds, raw
  • 2 sprigs green onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. ginger powder
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ cup fresh basil, packed
  • ½ block firm tofu


  1. For Misir Wat, combine all ingredients into the Instant Pot
  2. Seal the Instant Pot and set to “Manual” for 15 minutes
  3. Once the timer goes off, allow the pot to depressurize for 15 minutes
  4. Vent the Instant Pot until the pot is completely depressurized
  5. For spread, add all ingredients to food processor
  6. Pulse until mixture is homogeneous
  7. Serve with grains, potatoes, or any carbohydrate you prefer
  8. Enjoy!


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