Ethiopian Recipes
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5 from 1 vote

Ethiopian Recipes - Mesir Wat Red Lentil Stew with Ayib

Classic Ethiopian Recipes are a celebration of exotic spices and slow-cooked flavor. Mesir Wat, a traditional Red Lentil Stew, is both bold and comforting with a generous dollop of creamy Ayib cheese on top.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Ethiopian
Servings: 8
Calories: 304kcal
Author: Sommer Collier


For the Red Lentil Stew:

For the Ayib (Iab):

  • 3 cups small curd cottage cheese
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons  plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Place a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add the butter and chopped onions and saute for 3-5 minutes, until soft. Add the ginger and garlic and saute another 2 minutes.
  • Next add the spices and tomato paste along with 2 teaspoons of salt. Mix well, then add the lentils and 6 cups of water.
  • Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Uncover and stir the lentils, then continue to cook uncovered for another 10-15 minutes until a thick porridge-like consistency is reached. Remove from heat and cover until ready to serve.

For the Ayib:

  • Rinse and drain the cottage cheese in cold water until only clean curds are left. Place the curds in a bowl and press them dry with paper towels until most of the moisture in removed and the curds have broken up.
  • Mix in the yogurt, lemon zest and salt. Refrigerated until ready to serve. To serve: Scoop the Mesir Wat into bowl and place a generous dollop of Ayib on top.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 458mg | Potassium: 659mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1240IU | Vitamin C: 4.5mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 4.2mg