Mesir Wat (Red Lentil Stew) With Ayib Topping

Prep Time
Cook Time
1h 10m
Ready In

"When I tried this, I was getting out of my comfort zone. I was using spices I had never used and I didn't know if it would be too hot. I'm so glad I tried this. We have loved this soup. It looks like a lot of steps but it goes pretty quickly. If I think it's not hard, then believe me, anyone can do it. This is an Ethiopian recipe. Per the recipe author, the spices used are a replacement for things not easily available in the United States. This was made and adapted from"

Original is 8 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (423.4 g)
  • Calories 376.3
  • Total Fat - 9 g
  • Saturated Fat - 4.4 g
  • Cholesterol - 29 mg
  • Sodium - 1038.5 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 43 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 18.4 g
  • Sugars - 6.5 g
  • Protein - 31.2 g
  • Calcium - 189.4 mg
  • Iron - 5 mg
  • Vitamin C - 4.7 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.5 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

You will need a large sauce pot to cook everything in.

Step 2


Step 3

Place the butter into the pot. Chop the onion and add it to the pot. Cook this over medium heat until the onions are softening (about 3 to 5 minutes). Next, grate the ginger and mince the garlic, adding them to the pot, sauteing for 2 more minutes.

Step 4

Then you need to add the spices, tomato paste, and the salt. Mix everything together, then add the 2 cups of lentils along with 6 cups of water.

Step 5

Cover. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.

Step 6

Uncover and stir. Keep the pot uncovered, continuing to cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until it is the consistency of a thick porridge. Remove the pot from the heat. Cover it until you are ready to serve it.

Step 7


Step 8

The cottage cheese needs to be rinsed and drained in cold water until only the curds are left. Then you need to place the curds in a bowl. Press them with paper towels in order to dry them. Keep doing it until most of the water is removed and the curds are all broken up.

Step 9

Add the yogurt, lemon zest, and the salt, mixing it all together. Place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

Step 10

To use: Place a large spoonful on top of a serving of stew.

Step 11

Yummy in the tummy.


No special items needed.

8 Reviews


Easily more than 5 stars! DH and I both loved it even more than we expected. I subbed cream cheese for the cottage cheese. Just great, WAIGY!!


review by:
(28 Nov 2022)

Mia in Germany

This recipe is a total winner! We love red lentil soup, and this one is one of the best I ever had. I didn't realize that there were 3 printed pages so I somehow missed the washing the curds part. But it was great without that step, too - the lemon flavour with the smokey soup is awesome. Will make this again! Thanks for sharing! Made for Best of 2021


review by:
(18 Feb 2022)


Found that I really like red lentils. I haven’t had them in a long while. The stew came out full of flavor and loved the smoked paprika in it, however used half hot and half regular smoked. In place of cottage cheese used sour cream. Love the Ayib…so good with the soup! Thank you, WAIGEN, for sharing! Made it for The Joy of Vegetables and Pick Me tag games.


review by:
(3 Feb 2021)


Took awhile to restock my lentils I now have plenty of both. Other than using regular paprika and adding a touch of cayenne made as posted. Enjoyed!


review by:
(19 Nov 2020)

Daily Inspiration

We love lentil soup and the ingredients that went into this soup. Unfortunately, my smoked paprika gave the soup a bitter taste -- not the fault of the recipe. As a result, I added just enough honey to the soup to offset the bitterness. Next time I might just use plain paprika vs. smoked. We did not add the cheese topping, but we still enjoyed the soup. : )


(27 Oct 2020)

Peggy Bright

Oh my, this is a sensational recipe. About 10 years ago, we had a month in Ethiopia. This recipe reflects all the flavours we came to love. I 'm sure I will make this often. Thanks so very much for posting.


review by:
(11 Oct 2020)

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