Tsebhi birsen is a simple, tasty and vibrant lentil-based dish from Eritrea.

As you make this dish, pray for the 480,000 Eritreans (11% of the total population) who have fled a tough dictatorship in search of a better life. Pray they would find complete fullness in Jesus.


300g red lentils, washed and drained
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 tbsp Berbere spice (a toasted mixture of fenugreek, cayenne, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric etc)
4 tomatoes, peeled and diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cardamon
250ml water


Gently fry onions in the olive oil until translucent in a large pan.
Stir in the Berbere spice thoroughly, and cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste, and cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in the spices and crushed garlic and simmer for 3 minutes.
Add in the lentils, stirring vigorously for a good minute so they are completely coated.
Add the water until the lentils are submerged and allow to reach boiling point.
Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.