Berbere (Red chili - spice blend) and Erd (Turmeric) are staple spices in most Ethiopian households. These spices are used on a daily bases to make the traditionally everyday Ethiopian dishes that consist of a stew (with proteins) cooked in Berbere sauce and a side veggie dish cooked in Erd sauce.
To develop the base sauce using Berbere orErd, you will need, onions, Berbere or Erd, oil , garlic and ginger. Once all these ingredients are simmered together, you will get your base berbere or Erd sauce. To make a stew using the Berbere sauce, all you need to do is add water and your favorite meat or lentils and cook until meat or lentils are done, add veggies to the turmeric sauce to make veggie dishes.
*See step by step Red Lentil stew and Green beans and Carrot recipes below
Miser Wot (Red Lentil Stew)
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or any other oil)
3 teaspoons minced garlic
11/2 teaspoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons Berbere
¼ cup tomato paste (optional)
5 cups water
Put the onion in a medium pot and sautee for 5 minutes, on a medium heat. Add the oil, garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to between low and medium, add the Berbere and simmer for 10 minutes stirring constantly. Add a little bit of warm water at a time if it starts to get sticky. Add the tomato paste and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add the red lentils, water and salt, and stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium- high cook until the lentils are done, about 20 minutes.
Fasolia (Green Beans and Carrot)
1 medium yellow onion, cut length wise
1 small tomato, diced (optional)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or any other oil)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon Erd(turmeric)
4 cups green beans, trimmed on the edge and cut in half
4 cups carrots cut the same size as the green beans
Put the onions in a medium skillet and sautee for 5 minutes, on a medium heat. Add the diced tomatoes, stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes. Add the oil, garlic and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes, stir occasionally. Add the turmeric and cook for 3 more minutes, continue to stir. Add a little warm water to prevent the sauce from drying out. Finally add the carrots and green beans, cook until carrots and green beans are done, about 25 minutes. Add a little warm water as needed, continue to stir occasionally. Add salt to taste.