Berbere-Spiced Red Lentil Hummus

by on July 30, 2012
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

Berbere-Spiced Red Lentil Hummus

Some couples read love poems to each other; my husband and I read restaurant menus.

One of our favorite parts of planning a vacation is figuring out where we are going to eat. I like to ask my facebook followers for recommendations while my husband likes to use Google. We come up with a big list and then look at online menus to narrow down our options.

So when, during the planning stage of our upcoming trip to Colorado, my husband called out from his computer, “Red Lentil Hummus with Berberé Spice,” I knew he wasn’t experiencing some kind of mental breakdown but had found something interesting in one of the Denver menus he was reading. My first thought was, “Sounds good,” and my second was, “I can make that without a recipe.”

So I did. And it was absolutely incredible, if I do say so. I was all out of the berberé that I usually make, so I made up some more, a modified version that is lighter on the cloves and heavier on the cayenne than my old mix. But you can use either recipe or even buy a packaged berberé, and the results should still be divine because it’s pretty hard to mess up red lentils and Ethiopian spices–they just go together. If you like Ethiopian food and you like hummus, I’m betting that you’ll love this recipe.

Berbere-Spiced Red Lentil Hummus
Berbere (Ethiopian Spice Blend)

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you buy something through them, I receive a commission that helps support this site. Thanks for your purchase!

Susan

Never Miss a Recipe!

You'll keep up to date with new recipes and old ones you might have forgotten when you subscribe to NewsBites, the new FatFree Vegan newsletter. It's free, so sign up today!



Leave a Comment

Thanks for visiting my site! All comments are read and appreciated, and if you have a question, I will try to respond within a couple days. Note: If you are leaving a comment for the first time, it will be held for moderation. Be patient and it will appear as soon as I have a chance to approve it.

Want to have your photo alongside your comment? Sign up for a Gravatar!

Current day month ye@r *

{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bryanna Clark Grogan July 30, 2012 at 9:17 am

This looks soooooooo good, Susan! I’m going to try it very soon. I love to keep tasty low-fat spreads around for us to snack on with veggies and rye crackers– especially DH, who is a frequent snacker!

Reply

2 OTheFoodie July 30, 2012 at 9:26 am

The first line to this post is awesome! My family does the same. Food is paramount in planning our trips. If we don’t find food we like, we probably won’t go there. I think culturally and historically important places have decent dining options, for the most part. Right? ;)

I’ve never heard of Bereberé, but it looks like a winning combo with lentils. It definitely sounds Ethiopian, or at least African from a phonetic standpoint. I will be making this soon, sans tahini! Thanks for sharing and have a great trip!

Reply

3 Yannah July 30, 2012 at 11:45 am

Ethiopia is in Africa…

Reply

4 OTheFoodie July 30, 2012 at 12:22 pm

That’s the point =). Haha

Reply

5 janet @ taste space July 30, 2012 at 9:27 am

We’re out of berbere, too, but this makes me really want to whip up a batch right now to eat this! Looks like a great red lentil hummus! :)

Reply

6 Cadry July 30, 2012 at 9:33 am

My husband and I also love planning which vegan restaurants we’re going to visit when we travel. Over the years, we’ve visited so many wonderful places. Plus, you get to see the local color in those unique, one-of-a-kind restaurants.

I have to try this recipe for your red lentil hummus today. I’ve been missing Ethiopian food; this sounds like an easy and delicious way to satisfy my craving!

Reply

7 Archana July 30, 2012 at 10:46 am

Love this. Will make the brebere powder in the evening tomorrow and the hummus day after. Thanks.

Reply

8 Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy July 30, 2012 at 11:14 am

that sounds wonderful! i’ve been looking for a hummus alternative, since chickpeas aren’t allowed on the Specific Carb Diet. this is perfect! thanks!

Reply

9 Sky July 30, 2012 at 11:44 am

Missing a few spices to make this.Will be getting them today. Will recipe suffer if any color of lentils are used?

Reply

10 Susan Voisin July 30, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I haven’t made it with other lentils, so I can only guess. My feeling is that it will be heavier somehow with green or French lentils, but it may taste fine. You may have to experiment for me!

Reply

11 Sky July 30, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Thanks so much Susan for the quick response. I will make 2 different batches and get back to you on the results. I am new to cooking with lentils. I thought they would be very Blah! I have recently found out they are just fabulous. Tasty and healthy. Sky

Reply

12 Marybeth July 30, 2012 at 11:50 am

I have to say that you & your husband sound so cute! I had to laugh about “reading restaurant menus”… am from New Orleans originally & love your sight. Am not much of a chef but will sometimes “shortcut” one of your recipes & it still tastes good! My fave is your Creole Beans… I use red or black, preferably but have used pintos in a pinch… Thank you for this wonderful place to land! mb

Reply

13 Anne July 30, 2012 at 11:55 am

Ooooh…dinner tonight. I have a soft spot for anything Ethiopian (all the better if it’s low fat!)

Susan, does the Amazon affiliate link only work for the berbere spice mix, or is there a way to give you credit for other purchases I make on Amazon?

Thanks,
Anne

Reply

14 Susan Voisin July 30, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Thanks for asking, Anne! If you click the link for the berbere spice mix, anything you buy during that visit will give me credit for your purchase. The great thing is that it doesn’t cost you anything (Amazon would have gotten all of the purchase normally) and helps me keep this site going.

Reply

15 Sky July 30, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Susan could you “spell out” what link and process we need to do to help you out on Amazon. I am not clear on what to do….. Thanks, Sky

Reply

16 Susan Voisin July 30, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Sky, anytime you click on a link on my blog and it goes to Amazon, anything you buy during that visit will be credited to my affiliate account. You can also go to amazon from this link and it will count: http://www.amazon.com/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&linkCode=ur2&tag=fatfreevegank-20

Thanks so much!

Reply

17 Charmaine July 30, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Looks like another winner Susan! I’m going to try it this week although with regular lentils…Can’t find red ones here. Hope you got my Jamaica enchiladas recipe? I translated it and sent it to you some time back. Thanks again for all your delicious recipes! Keep ‘em coming!

Reply

18 moonwatcher July 30, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Hi Susan,

What a great post! I enjoyed every aspect of it, and really got the feel of you and your husband calling out menu items to one another in anticipation of a trip. The photos are gorgeous, both the hummus and the spice bowl. Just wonderful.

The recipe is an answer to a prayer. How did you know I was trying to think of something “cool” for summer I could do easily with red lentils. I have the spice mix all made up in my cupboard. All I need is a lemon and I’m ready to go. :)

Thanks, I’ll look forward to making this one. Hopefully I’ll get a dry run before son and girlfriend arrive in a couple of weeks, and then i’ll make it again for them. Or it will have its maiden voyage for their visit. Either way, I’m excited to try it.

xo

moonwatcher

Reply

19 kim July 30, 2012 at 1:07 pm

this sounds delicious!!! i love hummus of any kind and can’t wait to make this one!!

Reply

20 moonwatcher July 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Hi Susan,

I loved everything about this post! The writing is so good and fun, I could just see you and your husband calling out menu items to one another in anticipation of your trip, and also see the wheels rolling inside your head about how you could make this. The photos are gorgeous. The one of the spice bowl made me gasp with pleasure.

This recipe is like an answer to a prayer. I was trying to think of something simple and summery I could make with red lentils. So I will definitely try this. Hopefully soon, and maybe again when son and girlfriend come for a visit.

Have a great trip, too!

xo

moonwatcher

Reply

21 moonwatcher July 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm

sorry for miltiple posts Susan–had trouble knowing what went through

moonwatcher

Reply

22 Karen Faivre July 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm

That looks and sounds awesome. I can’t wait to try it out. Spicy red lentils? MMMMMM!

Reply

23 Michelle July 30, 2012 at 2:08 pm

I am also from New Orleans originally, and LOVE your site! I now live in CO and I’m wondering which menu you are looking at? I love trying new restuarants!

Reply

24 Amber Shea @Almost Vegan July 30, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I love berbere…and hummus! I posted an Ethiopian hummus on the blog a couple years ago, then also put a raw version in my cookbook. Now I’ll have to try it with lentils!

Reply

25 Kensington Cooker July 30, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I look forward to the results of Sky’s experiment, but for me red lentils have an entirely unique and wonderful taste and texture not comparable to the others(lighter? sweeter? hard to pin down). I’ve become hard to satisfy with the plainer colors! I make Susan’s dal from the Cauliflower Panch Phoran at least a couple of times a month, often without the cauliflower part. Unfortunately red lentils are more expensive as well as more tasty; we’re very lucky to have a local grocery that carries all sorts of Middle Eastern and African favorites. They have red lentils in bulk for the lowest price around, and would you believe they even carry them in two sizes–large and small. I think I’ll probably cheat and buy some Berbere spice mix there too, so I can make this recipe without delay.

Reply

26 Sky August 10, 2012 at 11:51 am

Hi All, It took a while to get back to you… I ordered berbere online from Amazon thru the TeenyTinySpice.com web site. They had very good ratings on Amazon so I ordered from them. I quickly got it from them and ordered 2 other spice blends so as to get the free shipping. I just mixed it up with the red lentils that I had waiting. I also had brown lentils cooked up too and added the spice blend to them but I had to run it through the food processor. Brown lentils hold their shape and I also had to add a little water to get a nice consistency. The brown lentils made a more robust flavor hummus. The red lentils when cooked just turned into a sweet delicate mass. There was no need to blend the red lentil hummus. Both hummus that I made were just fabulous!! Thank you Susan for the great recipe! I hope that some of you check out TeenyTinySpice.com. I was very impressed with the quality of ingredients, the reusable tin they come in and the fast service. The web site also has ideas and recipes.

Reply

27 Sky August 10, 2012 at 11:56 am

……oh by the way. I looked all over for red lentils. I finally. Found them a a food co-op. They were $ 1.99 a pound. I might also check on Amazon to see their prices…… Got to go now….. My hummus is calling me……….!

Reply

28 Lisa @ The Raw Serenity July 30, 2012 at 8:13 pm

I have never tried red lentil hummus before. I certainly will now.
Checking out places to eat is a must! Takes so much stress and time out of finding somewhere suitable to dine at.

Thanks for sharing this x

Reply

29 Ricki July 30, 2012 at 9:03 pm

I mixed up some Berbere spice ages ago for a tagine recipe–and it’s been sitting in my cupboard ever since! Now I know what to do with it. ;)

Reply

30 Mel July 31, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Oh yum, this recipe really appeals to me. I always have berbere on hand for cooking Ethiopian curries so I will definitely be giving this a try!

Reply

31 Andrea - Chocolate and Beyond August 1, 2012 at 11:18 am

I love experimenting with hummus, and it’s taken me years to finally get to a stage where I can make one at home that I like as much as the ones I buy (my secret ingredient – no so secret now! – is sumac).

I have never tried making berbere though – in fact, I didn’t even know about it until now! It looks like an interesting mix. Thanks for the ideas!

Reply

32 Ali, Dr. McDougall's Right Foods August 1, 2012 at 6:30 pm

This looks delicious, Susan! Looking forward to following your blog.

Reply

33 Bethany August 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Oh my gosh, what a brilliant idea! I can’t wait to try this. I adore Ethiopian food, I adore red lentils, and I adore hummus. I am going to love this!!

Reply

34 pb August 3, 2012 at 10:17 am

Hi Susan,

This is a great variation on hummus. Thanks for it. Didn’t your old berbere recipe also have nutmeg? or does berbere usually have it.

How much of the spice mix did you use?

Thanks!

Reply

35 Susan Voisin August 3, 2012 at 10:34 am

I left the nutmeg out this time because I didn’t have any. You could add a tablespoon of it if you like, though I didn’t miss it this time. I also increased the paprika and cayenne to make it a little more peppery. And I used 1 1/2 teaspoons of the mix in the hummus.

Reply

36 Angela W. August 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Hi Susan. Thanks for posting this recipe. I went to our local spice market today and purchased some Berbere. So, I’m definitely making the hummus tonight!

While I was there, I picked up a spice blend called Bezar. It is a traditional Arabian spice mix. Have you used it? And, if so, what did you make? The ingredients are listed as: cumin, fennel, saison cinnamon, coriander, black pepper, de arbol chili, turmeric.

Reply

37 Brittany @ twosaucysisters August 4, 2012 at 5:55 pm

WOW this was delicious! Julie and I have made lentil hummus before, but it always turned out watery and kind of bland. This was everything but that- so creamy and flavourful!

Reply

38 Real Foods August 5, 2012 at 10:36 am

Mmmmm, I’d love to dip the rice cake I have in my hand right now in that tasty looking red lentil hummus.

Reply

39 kimia August 6, 2012 at 6:24 pm

very nice

Reply

40 kimia August 6, 2012 at 7:33 pm

hi im making salad for the first time and its realy importand to me to know if i can mix green beans with onions?

Reply

41 Dyan August 7, 2012 at 2:25 pm

When I finished blending everything together, I opened up the food processor and panicked that I hadn’t drained the lentils well enough, as the mixture looked pretty runny. But once refrigerated, it became a perfect hummus consistency. And if i -had- messed up the draining, it would have made a good soup (test-tasting warm from the food processor confirmed this). Maybe next time.

Reply

42 martipop August 10, 2012 at 8:33 am

I made this recipe last night. Not being able to find fenugreek at Whole Foods, I used a Berbere spice mix they had. As modifiers from the recipe, I used 3 tablespoons of lemon juice in the hummus and added just a dash of salt, since the spice mix already had salt in it. I can’t wait to have another portion of this deliciousness in a wrap with cucumber, tomatoes, and red onions for lunch.

Reply

43 Meredith August 14, 2012 at 10:06 pm

You made me laugh out loud with “some foodie form of Tourette’s.” Yeah, love poems are overrated – give me a menu ANY day. Am going to try this recipe this week. Thanks much!

Reply

44 Erin August 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm

hmmm…this looks tasty and I do love red lentils. Must make soon. Also, reading of menus is a relationship building exercise in my house too. I feel sorry for people who dine out with us.

Reply

45 brynster August 20, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Certainly going to try this. How long will it keep in the fridge Susan?

Cheers

Reply

46 Caroline August 24, 2012 at 11:12 am

This was delicious when I first made it. I didn’t drain the lentils at all and the consistency was perfect. However, after a night in the fridge the hummus has become dry and hard. I could probably heat it with some water in a saucepan to get it back to normal, but that’s a lot of work if I just want a tablespoon or two for an afternoon snack. Any advice on how to deal with this?

Reply

47 Susan Voisin August 24, 2012 at 11:41 am

That’s really strange! The only thing I can think of it take it out of the fridge a couple of hours before you want to eat it and let it soften up on the counter. Stir it well after it’s warmed up a little. Good luck!

Reply

48 Susan Voisin August 1, 2014 at 10:48 am

I would try stirring in some extra liquid, water or vegetable broth. If you use a microwave, you could heat it briefly or just let it come to room temperature naturally.

Reply

49 stephanie August 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Susan, this hummus is amazing! Your blog has saved me! I’d marry it…if that were legal!
I have a weird question, though. I just made this hummus (it is super duper yummy!), but for some reason my red lentils became buttery yellow lentils when i cooked them. Any idea why this might have happened? Did i over-cook them?

Reply

50 Susan Voisin August 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm

No, that’s unfortunately just how they are. I always wish that red lentils continued to look red after cooking, but they fade to yellow. But I’m glad you liked the hummus anyway!

Reply

51 stephanie August 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Thank you, Susan! It IS delicious! I gave some to my boss, who is Moroccan, and she said it was the best hummus she ever had. Though she did admit to adding extra tahini and salt. Maybe your yum-o hummus will get me promoted! : )

Reply

52 Dana September 11, 2012 at 11:07 pm

This was so delicious!

Reply

53 Bee October 1, 2012 at 11:03 am

How much does this make and what is the serving size?

Reply

54 Susan Voisin October 1, 2012 at 11:49 am

It makes about 2 1/2 to 3 cups, so at four servings, that would be between 1/2 and 3/4 cup per serving.

Reply

55 tina October 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Hi

I am a college student without much time to dedicate to cooking and preparation.

Do you have any recipes that are low fat, vegan, gluten free that are quick and tasty?

Thanks,
Tina

Reply

56 Leah October 28, 2012 at 9:49 am

Wow, this is great! My friend sent me berbere from Ethiopia and this is perfect with it!

Reply

57 veryfunny December 22, 2012 at 8:45 am

othefoodie, there is no such thing as an Ethiopian language, and the word berbere certainly isn’t ”African”. It’s a semetic language, Amharic.

Reply

58 KimM March 4, 2013 at 7:39 pm

I made this and 3 others dips for a party. I ended up quadrupling the berbere spice. This wasn’t my favorite but my friends liked it.

Reply

59 J Sumption August 29, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Finally had a chance to make this today and it is DELICIOUS! I had to push the bowl away because I just kept eating it! LOL My husband’s comment: “That’s REALLY good!” THANK YOU for sharing this recipe! It will now be a “go to” for me!

Reply

60 Kathy Cultice January 13, 2014 at 9:31 am

This sounds sooo good! We’ve given up on the yummy but full of oil hummus we’ve been getting from Costco. I will be making this tonight! Thanks!!

Reply

61 Steven Little August 1, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Can you imagine how wonderful a north African open air market would smell? Yum. One other way to check for Vegan options is to go to Yelp and do a search on the word “Vegan”. That can help you to find places that are not necessarily vegan but have vegan options. Or you will find the occasional BBQ place where somebody commented “not for vegans!” ha ha… Some places (like most of central California) are not vegan friendly at all. They go so far as to have “vegetarian” options meaning they dump cheese all over everything.

I am loving your site and your recipes!

Reply

Previous post:

Next post: