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Whole chickpeas, ample onions and tons of spice create a sensational vegetarian stew
Milk Street Bowtie Ethiopian Chickpea Stew

Ethiopian Chickpea Stew

45 minutes

Ethiopian Chickpea Stew

Free

Shiro wat is an Ethiopian stew made with ground dried legumes mixed with spices (a blend known as mitten shiro), along with aromatics, tomatoes and the spice blend called berbere. Meant to be served with injera (Ethiopian flatbread) and other dishes to comprise a complete meal, shiro wat is a thick, rustic puree. We loved the flavors, but wanted them as a stew hearty enough to be a vegetarian main, so we opted to use canned whole chickpeas and flavored them with many of the traditional seasonings and ingredients. Ground red lentils give our stew added earthiness while also acting as a thickener. As a cooking fat, we use Indian ghee, which approximates the flavor of Ethiopian fermented butter but is easier to find. Look for ghee in the supermarket grocery aisle near the coconut oil or in refrigerator aisle next to the butter. If you cannot find it, use salted butter in its place but also add 1 teaspoon white miso when adding the water.

2 tablespoons red lentils
3 tablespoons ghee (see headnote)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
8 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons berbere (see headnote)
2 15½-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 jalapeño or Fresno chili, stemmed and chopped (optional)
Ingredients
  • 2

    tablespoons red lentils

  • 3

    tablespoons ghee (see headnote)

  • 1

    medium yellow onion, chopped

  • 1

    pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

  • 8

    medium garlic cloves, minced

  • 2

    tablespoons minced fresh ginger

  • 2

    tablespoons berbere (see headnote)

  • 2

    15½-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 1

    cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

  • 1

    jalapeño or Fresno chili, stemmed and chopped (optional)

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Ethiopian Chickpea Stew

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

45 minutes

Tip

Don’t forget to stir the stew after adding the ground lentils and the water. The lentils thicken the liquid and have a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan, so make sure to scrape along the bottom to prevent scorching.

Ingredients
  • 2

    tablespoons red lentils

  • 3

    tablespoons ghee (see headnote)

  • 1

    medium yellow onion, chopped

  • 1

    pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

  • 8

    medium garlic cloves, minced

  • 2

    tablespoons minced fresh ginger

  • 2

    tablespoons berbere (see headnote)

  • 2

    15½-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 1

    cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

  • 1

    jalapeño or Fresno chili, stemmed and chopped (optional)

Step 1 of 2

Combine Ingredients In Saucepan

2
tablespoons red lentils
3
tablespoons ghee
1
medium yellow onion, chopped
1
pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
8
medium garlic cloves, minced
2
tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2
tablespoons berbere

In a spice grinder, pulse the lentils until finely ground, about 10 pulses; set aside. In a large saucepan over medium, melt the ghee. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.


Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, ginger and berbere. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have given up their liquid and the mixture is beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 2 of 2

Add Chickpeas

2
15½-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1
cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1
jalapeño or Fresno chili, stemmed and chopped

Add the chickpeas, ground lentils, 2 cups water and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Boil over medium-high, then reduce to medium and cook at a simmer, uncovered and stirring often, until the sauce clings to the chickpeas, about 15 minutes. Off heat, stir in the parsley and chili (if using). Taste and season with salt and pepper.

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Ethiopian Chickpea Stew

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