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 recipe yields 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 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.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.



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)


We thoroughly enjoyed this stew! Made as directed but used veggie stock for the water and added cayenne for a wee bit of heat. The Ayib topping is delicious and a perfect foil for the stew! DH said it was definitely 5 stars and I agree. Thank you for sharing WhatamIgonnaeatnext? ! Made for Billboard Recipe Tag.

review by:
(31 Jul 2020)


This is really good -- I have never heard of the alibi -- but this is great and even leftovers would work for breakfast with fruit. I did use regular paprika but otherwise made as directed. Thanks for sharing!

review by:
(8 Feb 2020)