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Berebere Chicken and Lentils - a flavorful Ethiopian recipe that features Berebere Spice. #ethiopianfood #ethiopianrecipes #chicken #lenitls #berebere

Berbere Chicken with Ethiopian Lentils

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main, Chicken
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Ethiopian


Berbere Chicken and Lentils – a flavorful delicious Ethiopian recipe that features Berbere Spice. See notes for a vegan tofu option!


Units Scale
Ethiopian Lentils
  • 1 cup French Green, OR Black lentils, OR Beluga Caviar lentils (do not use a split lentil)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 23 tablespoons Berbere Spice Mix (see below)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Fresh Italian parsley for garnish

Berbere Chicken:

Berbere Spice Mix


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Make the lentils: In a heavy bottom pot, or dutch oven, saute diced onion, carrots, garlic and ginger in 2 tablespoons olive oil, until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add 2-3 tablespoons Berbere Spice mix and sauté 2-3 minutes. Add 1 cup lentils, 1 cup diced tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt and 3 cups water, and bring to a boil, cover, turn heat to low and let cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Uncover and cook off any extra liquid.
  3. Make the Chicken: Pat dry the chicken and salt all sides with salt and pepper and generously rub each piece with Berbere Spice Mix. The more, the spicier.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy bottom skillet, on medium-high heat, place chicken skin side down and sear until it is crispy and golden, about 6- 8 minutes. Turn over, and turn heat down to medium, searing for 2-3 minutes. Place in a 400 F oven until internal temperature reaches 165F (10-15 minutes)
  5. Serve over a bed of the Ethiopian lentils, and garnish with fresh Italian parsley.

Berbere Spice Mix:

  1. If using whole seeds, lightly toast them on the stovetop in a skillet for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Grind them using a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. Remember to crush or grind the chili flakes.


If subbing tofu for the chicken: Use extra firm tofu and cut into 1 inch thick slabs or “filets”, pat dry with paper towels, very lightly pressing down. Sprinkle each side generously with salt and pepper then place a few tablespoons of Berber Spice on a plate, spreading it out, and coat each side of the tofu lightly. Pan sear in a well-oiled skillet, over medium heat, allowing the tofu to form a crust thereby, naturally releasing itself from the pan. This will prevent sticking and allow easy flipping. Pan sear each side until crispy, golden and warmed through. Serve over the lentils. I’d use two large blocks for 6 people.


  • Calories: 405

Keywords: Berebere Chicken, Ethiopian Chicken Recipes, Berebere lentils, Ethiopian Lentil Recipes,