Gringo quick and easy, healthy, low-fat, low-cost, one-pot wat

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Two main servings or four sides Easy
Total: Active:
3 Ratings 

Ingredients (12)

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 jalapeno finely chopped
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons of berber
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger or 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp korset
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup of lentils, preferably red
  • 2 cups water or stock (vegetable or chicken)
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Gringo quick and easy, healthy, low-fat, low-cost, one-pot wat

It is the spices that make this dish. I started with the traditional recipe which uses lots of spiced butter and kept simplifying the dish. My wat recipe is every bit as flavorful as the original.

The onions, garlic, berber, lentils are essential. The others can be done without, but add complexity. Measurements are for starters and may be increased or decreased for personal tastes.

Red lentil wat (messer wat) can be made with any lentil, but traditional red was the best.

With the lentils, spices, garlic and onion, wat is very healthy. It is also very forgiving and almost impossible to ruin.. It is quick too … those lentils cook up in no time. Such comfort food … warm, spicy, soft and satisfying.


  1. 1Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. .
  2. 2Add garlic and cook a few more minutes
  3. 3Add jalapeno and cook a few more minutes
  4. 4Add spices and cook 10 minutes until spices are slightly toasted and oils are released.
  5. 5Rinse lentils and add with water or stock to pot
  6. 6Bring to a boil
  7. 7Remove from heat and let pot sit with cover until lentils absorb water
  8. 8This is usually scooped up with injera bread. I don’t like the sour taste though and just serve the wat like a bowl of chili accompanied usually with a green salad.
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