Misir Wot with Gomen Wot

IngredientsBeans, Vegetables
Day PartDinner
Menu PartEntree

Source: Tracey MacRae, University of Washington

Chef Tracey MacRae of the University of Washington in Seattle brough this home recipe to campus and scaled up for the school's Black History Month menus that ran for the entire month of February. "The lentils (misir) are vegetarian (can be made vegan easily) and the greens (gomen) are vegan. Injera bread is made from teff and is naturally gluten free and vegan," she says.


Gomen wat
10 pounds split red lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 gallons red onion, finely chopped or pulsed in a food processor
1.25 cups garlic, minced
1.25 cups ginger, minced
2 cups niter kibbeh- spiced butter or clarified butter or vegetable oil for vegans
2 cups berbere (recipe follows)
2.5 gallons vegetable stock or water
.25 cup salt
3T black pepper

Stewed collard greens
24 large bunch collard greens, about 16-18lbs, stripped of stems
3 cups niter kebbeh, ghee or olive oil
1 ½ gallons red onion, med chop (robo coupe is fine, pulse to chop)
¾ cup garlic, minced
¾ cup fresh ginger, peeled and minced
12 cups poblano or anahiem peppers, seeded and minced
2 serrano chilies, sliced thin…if you like it spicy
24 cups veggie broth
½ cup salt
¼ cup black pepper
2 tablespoons ground cardamom
Lemon wedges for serving, whole, cut into 1/6th or 1/8ths depending on the size of the lemon

Berbere spice blend
1 ½ cups ground ginger
½ cup ground coriander
½ cup ground cardamom
½ cup ground fenugreek
½ cup ground nutmeg
¼ cup ground cinnamon
6 cups kosher salt
¼ cup ground allspice
3 cups turmeric
3 cups ground cumin
3 cups granulated garlic
12 cups cayenne pepper
1 cup black pepper
25 cups sweet paprika


For gomen wat:

  • In a large, heavy rondo or tilt skillet, melt niter kibbeh over low heat until thin (about 10 seconds). Stir in berberé and cook for 20 seconds.
  • Stir in onion, garlic, and ginger root. Increase heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until almost all liquid has evaporated.
  • Add lentils and stock/water. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low to simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not leave unattended. Stew can burn and stick if liquid evaporates too rapidly.
  •  Check for consistent mushiness of lentils after 20 minutes. If some are even marginally hard, add another cup of stock/water, then simmer 10 more minutes. Check again for texture. Another cup of water and a final ten minutes of simmering may be necessary.
  • Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. 

For collard greens:

  1. Tear stems from collard greens, holding the green by the stem and sliding your hand down to release the leaf from the tough, woody stem.
  1. Wash the greens well in two changes of water. Bring a large pot of water to boiling.
  2. Add the stemmed greens to the water and boil them briskly for 10 minutes.
  3. Drain into a colander and allow to cool enough to handle.  Squeeze the excess water from the greens.
  4. Stack the greens up on top of each other about 6-7 high and slice them thinly into ¼” strips.
  5. In a large skillet or rondo, melt the niter kebbeh (or oil) over med heat. Once it is melted add the onion, garlic, ginger and peppers and give the whole thing a good stir.   Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the collard greens, broth, salt, pepper and cardamom.
  7. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until most of water has evaporated from the pan.
  8. Serve with fresh lemon wedges.

For spice blend: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°, no fan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the spices except the salt.  Using your gloved hands mix, sift and rub the spices together to make sure they are well combined and that there are no lumps.
  3. Line full sized sheet pans with parchment and spread the combined spices out on the sheet pans in an even layer not more than ¼” deep.
  4. Toast the spices in the oven for 9-12 minutes….shake and stir at least once during the process.  Allow the spices to cool and mix in the salt with your gloved hands. 
  5. Store in an airtight container out of direct sunlight.  Berbere will keep for about a month. After that, it starts to lose its potency.  This recipe scales down beautifully.

Local Ethiopian restaurants often sell fresh injera. To serve the misir and gomen, lay out on fresh injera on a large plate and dish the lentils and greens directly onto the bread.  Serve immediately. 

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