Yemisir Alicha Recipe

I’d love to give credit where credit is due, but I can’t find my original source for this Ethiopian recipe. All I can tell you is that it’s delicious and nutritious, so give it a try!



  • 2 cups split lentils
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups onions, chopped
  • 2 T. oil
  • 1 T. ginger
  • 1 t. garlic (can substitute with celery seed)
  • 1/4 t. black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 t. berbere powder (or to taste)
  1. Wash lentils and boil in a pot for 5 minutes.
  2. In a pan, cook onions until translucent, but not browned. You can cook them in oil, or water-sauté them with just a splash of water a bit at a time to keep the onions from sticking to the pan. Water-sautéing keeps the onions translucent without caramelizing them.
  3. Remove lentils from heat. Drain and reserve the cooking water for later use.
  4. Add lentils to onions. Add reserved water, stirring to prevent mixture from sticking to bottom of pan.
  5. Add spices.
  6. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Serve hot over greens or grains of your choice.

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