• 1 cup dried lentils, sorted and rinsed
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground mild red chile
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 collard leaves, chopped
  • 2 tsp Berbere spice mix,** optional

*Berbere spice mix includes a ton of spices such as: cumin, turmeric, fenugreek, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, paprika, onion, garlic, coriander, and chile. You can use a premade Berbere spice mix, or just add a bit of whichever of these spices you have on hand. The lentils will be delicious even if you only have 1 or 2 spices to add!


  1. Cook the dried lentils: Bring the water and lentils to a boil over high heat. Skim off the foam that appears. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add water as needed to keep the lentils covered as they cook.
  2. Make the Ethiopian lentils: In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, until the onions are soft. Add the red chile and cumin and cook, stirring constantly for about 30 seconds more.
  3. Stir in the lentils, along with the juice, then add the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stir in the Berbere spice mix, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the collard greens and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes until the collards are tender.