Eggplant Lentil Stew with Pomegranate Molasses

This vegan Turkish lentil stew recipe with eggplant and pomegranate molasses is hearty, filling and delicious!

Eggplant Lentil Stew with Pomegranate Molasses
Elise Bauer

A few weeks ago I was wondering what to do with the end-of-season eggplants, tomatoes, and chiles from our garden and stumbled across this recipe from Food and Wine, which also calls for pomegranate molasses.

The recipe comes from the coastal town of Antakya, Turkey. The ingredients are layered and not stirred, so the flavors of the different ingredients stay distinct.

The stew is best when made ahead and allowed to mellow for a few hours before serving. I thought it needed just a touch of honey, which I will probably add next time.

Eggplant Lentil Stew with Pomegranate Molasses

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Salted eggplant draining 60 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • One 1 1/2-pound globe eggplant (or enough eggplants for 1 1/2 pounds)
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup brown lentils
  • Water
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 long green chiles, such as Anaheims—stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves (spearmint)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses

Method

  1. Salt eggplant slices to drain of excess moisture

    Partially peel the eggplant so it has lengthwise stripes, then cut it lengthwise into 4 slices. Score each slice on 1 side in a crosshatch pattern. Cut each slice crosswise into 3 pieces and set on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 1 hour.

  2. Cook the lentils

    In a small saucepan, cover the lentils with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the lentils.

  3. Coat a small (3-quart) enameled cast-iron Dutch oven or casserole dish with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil
  4. Mix vegetables

    In a bowl, toss the onion with the garlic, tomatoes, green chiles, mint, tomato paste, crushed red pepper and 2 teaspoons of salt.

  5. Layer pot with eggplant slices, vegetables, and lentils

    Rinse the eggplant and pat dry. Spread 1/2 cup of the vegetable mixture in the Dutch oven and top with half of the eggplant. Cover with half of the lentils and half of the remaining vegetable mixture. Top with the remaining eggplant, lentils and vegetables. Pour the remaining olive oil around the side and over the vegetables, then drizzle with the pomegranate molasses.

    Elise Bauer
  6. Cook the stew

    Heat the stew until the liquid in the stew is simmering. Cover and cook over low heat until the eggplant is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

    Elise Bauer

    Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.