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A bowl of misir wat, Ethiopian red lentils, in a yellow bowl, on a wooden table

Instant Pot Ethiopian Red Lentils (Misir Wat)

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups of lentils 1x


Instant Pot Ethiopian Red Lentils. Misir Wat, red lentil stew, loaded with berbere spice, is a taste of Ethiopia from my pressure cooker.


  • 8 ounces (about 1 cup) red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon Berbere seasoning blend
  • 2 cups homemade chicken or vegetable broth (or water, or low sodium store-bought broth)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt (if using homemade broth or water)
  • 10-ounce can diced tomatoes and green chilies (Ro*Tel Tomatoes), with the juices


  • Flatbread (I substitute large tortillas or pita bread)


  1. Rinse the lentils: Put the lentils in a strainer and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Let stand to drain while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
  2. Saute the aromatics and toast the spices: Melt the butter in an Instant Pot set to Sauté mode (or in a stovetop PC over medium heat). Add the onion and garlic, then sprinkle with ½ teaspoon fine sea salt. Sauté until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Make a hole in the center of the onions, add the berbere, and toast the berbere for one minute, then stir it into the onions.
  3. Everything in the pot: Stir in the lentils, 2 cups of broth or water, and ½ teaspoon fine sea salt if using homemade broth or water. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a flat-edged wooden spoon to loosen any bits of onion that stuck to the pot. Stir in the can of tomatoes and chilies.
  4. Pressure Cook the lentils for 10 minutes with a Quick Release: Lock the lid and cook at high pressure for 10 minutes (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot), for both electric and stovetop PCs. Once the cooking time is done, quick release the remaining pressure.
  5. Serve: Open the pressure cooker lid (away from you – the steam is hot). Serve and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Ethiopian

Keywords: Instant Pot Ethiopian Red Lentils (Misir Wat), Pressure Cooker Ethiopian Red Lentils (Misir Wat)