Instant Pot Somali Lentil Stew

Published on Jan 29, 2021

  by   Kristina Stosek

10 reviews

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Serves: 6 - 8
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Wholesome, delicious and hearty Somali inspired lentil stew made in an instant pot. Enjoy the rich and aromatic flavors of Instant Pot Somali Lentil Stew in every bite. A delicious fusion of East African spices and hearty lentils, cooked to perfection in minutes. Stove top version included.

the Somali spices

This lentil stew is generously flavoured with ginger, garlic, cumin, and curry powder, a hint of cinnamon and fresh lemon juice.

the veggies

The fresh veggies in this stew are onions, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, and jalapeno peppers. And for extra flavor, tomato sauce.

somali lentil stew in a bowl topped with lemon slices

the creaminess

To make the stew extra creamy and rich tasting, I added coconut milk to this African dish. This vegan lentil stew is so flavorful, and one of our favorite plant-based stews.


somali lentil stew

15 minute Instant pot recipe

What I love about this naturally gluten-free lentil stew is that it takes only 15 minutes to cook. By cooking this ethnic dish in the instant pot, the ingredients retain most nutrients—more than other cooking methods.

And, you can walk away once you set the pot to cook function. The veggies and lentils are perfectly cooked and it couldn’t be easier to make.


coconut milk and cilantro added to cooked lentil stew into an Instant pot

Instant Pot Somali Lentil Stew Step-by-Step directions

There are very few steps to make this stunning Somali lentil stew. The list of ingredients may look overwhelming, but it is mostly spices, which is what makes this lentil dish so incredibly tasty.


Saute the onions and garlic


Add all the other ingredients except coconut milk, cilantro and lemon juice. The stew is cooked in an Instant pot under high pressure for 10 minutes and then finished with the last three ingredients. You don’t even have to soak the lentils before cooking. 


Once finished cooking, stir in coconut milk, cilantro and lemon juice.


close up of cooked Somali lentil stew

stovetop version

You can make this hearty lentil dish on the stovetop if you don’t have an instant pot. To cook the stew on the stovetop, follow the steps as per the recipe, except increase the cooking time by about 30 minutes and simmer until the lentils are tender.


dry lentils in a measuring cup

Are lentils nutritious?

Lentils come in various colours. Brown, green, black, orange, gold and coral. All the lentils have different textures and flavours. However, nutritionally they are pretty much the same, except for black lentils. They are the healthiest.

I like to use brown lentils because they are smaller than green lentils, and in my opinion, they have a better texture, and I prefer the flavour.

Lentils grow in pods like beans and peas, so they are considered legumes. This tiny legume is low in calories and rich in dietary fiber, about 15.6 grams per cup of cooked lentils. I highly recommend trying this immune boosting lentil salad it’s sooo good!


overview of Somali stew on a spoon

Serving suggestions

I am super excited to share this Somali inspired lentil stew recipe, because it is naturally gluten-free, delicious, packed with healthy nutrients and quick and easy to make. Serve with parsley rice or, try our gluten-free naan bread recipe to soak up all the deliciousness. Enjoy!

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Many thanks!

Kristina xx

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No I am sorry, I do not provide nutritional or calorie information at this time. Here is a good link to use to calculate the calories

khadija isa gumel

Do u know how many calories in 1 serving


thank you John, I hope you will try some of our other IP recipes, they are just as easy and delicious!

John.the chef

I just bought an Instant Pot and this was my first recipe. I must say, I was amazed how delicious this stew came out, and it was so easy to make. Thank you, your recipes are super easy and delicious!


I agree with you Mike and thank you


Amazing dish!!! Make extra, you will want thirds

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