This dish is meant to be one component of a larger Ethiopian meal. Serve with the Braised Cabbage, Carrots and Potatoes, Chicken Stew (Doro Wat), Braised Beef with Peppers (Zilzil Tibs) and Quick Injera, layering the injera on a platter and mounding a portion of each dish on top. Tear off pieces of the injera to use as a "utensil" for scooping up bites of each.
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4. Grind the toasted spices in a spice grinder to a fine powder. Add to the chile powder mixture and whisk to combine. Sift the spice mixture onto a piece of parchment paper, return to the bowl and whisk again. Return the pieces left in the sifter to the spice grinder and grind again as finely as possible; whisk into the spice mixture. Set aside.
5. To finish the niter kibbeh: Line a strainer with dampened cheesecloth. Skim the foam from the top of the butter and discard. Ladle the butter through the strainer, leaving behind the milk solids on the bottom of the pan.
7. Add 2 tablespoons of the berbere, the ginger and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the lentils and 4 cups water, stir well and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the lentils are very soft and the mixture is very thick (like a thick porridge or split pea soup), 35 to 40 minutes. (Monitor the heat to keep the lentils at a gentle simmer; the amount of heat needed may change as the lentils thicken.)
8. Remove the lentils from the heat and stir in the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the berbere. Cover and let sit another 10 minutes. Serve hot with injera.
This recipe makes more than enough berbere and niter kibbeh to make the lentils. Refrigerate any leftovers to use in other Ethiopian recipes.