Misir – an Ethiopian Lentil recipe with a Canadian touch

Ethiopian Vegan Lentils
Photography by Ify Yani

Over the course of my many food adventures with Black Foodie, I’ve had the chance to try so many delicious diverse foods.  But to this day one of my favourite foods to have after a long hard day, is a platter of Ethiopian vegan stews. It’s my comfort food, and thankfully much easier to prepare than some of the meat stews I grew up on so I revert to it when I want a hearty and delish meal. If you’ve ever ordered the veggie platter at an Ethio or Eritrean restaurant, than you’ve got a taste of these delicious stews.  Give me some fasolia, shiro and miser (crispy garlicky carrots, smooth & creamy chickpea stew, and the spicy lentils) and I’m in heaven!

One of the first dishes my parents taught me to make is miser, spicy Ethiopian lentils so it’s what I’ll share with y’all first too! The key to the perfect miser in my opinion, is lightly caramelizing the onions before adding the Berbere spice & garlic. I’ve been using canola oil for years to cook miser, but had no idea till recently that the canola oil that’s been holding me & my fam down for years in the kitchen, is a Canadian product.

031 190521 CanolaEatWell MairlynSmith joshteewhyThis summer I got a chance to connect with real Canadian farmers and get the scoop on canola oil and why it’s such a great addition to the African dishes I grew up on. Having made a made a conscious effort to learn more about where my food comes from, this crash course was just in time! I learned about the challenges of harvest, the resilience of Canadian farming families and got to learn what a typical day is like actually farming! I really enjoyed learning the personal side of the industry  as well as learning the positive impact it makes on our economy.  I learned:

  • Canadian farmers  grow some of the best quality canola in the world
  • Canada is the largest exporter of Canola
  • Canola oil has a neutral flavour and high smoke point so it’s perfect for cooking the Ethiopian foods  I love as well as other African/Caribbean favourites like fried plantains, puff puff & chin chin

I’m excited to be heading to Manitoba next month to experience a taste of the farm life firsthand & learn even more! Till then, enjoy this tasty Ethiopian lentil (miser) featuring Canadian canola oil.

Misir (Ethiopian style red lentils) 


  • 1  1/2 cups red lentils 
  • 1/4 cup crushed tomatoes 
  • 1 large onion; finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper 
  • 3 tablespoons Berbere (Ethiopian Spice Mix) 
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 4 Tablespoons of Canola oil


1. Cook down finely chopped onions in a couple tsp of canola oil until it begins to caramelize.
2. Add Berbere spice and finely chopped garlic and stir.
3. Add lentils, crushed tomatoes and just enough water to let the mixture simmer and cook through lentils
4.  Once the misir begins to thicken add a whole jalapeño pepper.
5. Serve with 100% Teff Injera or rice if you don’t have access to injera bread. 



This post has been sponsored by Canola Eat Well, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.


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