Eggplant Lentil Stew with Pomegranate Molasses


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

Photography Credit: 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.

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Eggplant Lentil Stew with Pomegranate Molasses Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours
  • Salted eggplant draining time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 6


  • 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


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.

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.

Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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42 Comments / Reviews

No ImageEggplant Lentil Stew with Pomegranate Molasses

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Lisa frades

    I am going to add a bit of tahini to mine as well

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Jan Hester

    I have a thing for pomegranate molasses and am always happy to find new recipes. This was delicious and a great way to use eggplant and lentils. I look forward to making it again.


  3. Penny Carrier

    The stew was delicious! However I had an epic fail when I tried to make my own pomegranate molasses! I ended up with a pomegranate lollipop! I substituted balsamic vinegar reduction and it seemed to work well. Is there a temperature one can test while making the molasses? Maybe use a candy thermometer?


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  4. Tim

    Hey Elise! I love this recipe! I’ve made it a couple times now.

    I’m curious about the peeling and then scoring of the eggplant. Skin is where most of the nutrition is in most vegetables – presumably also eggplant – and some of the skin is left on. Why not leave it all on? In sweating eggplants, I’ve never seen instructions to cut hashmarks in them (though that may be due to my inexperience with eggplants). So I’m wondering if it’s important to do. (These both represent time-saving measures if the steps can be eliminated.) Also, it seems like rinsing the eggplants afterward partially defeats the purpose of sweating them, and also washes away the salt that I’m going to otherwise add to the recipe later. Why not blot the water away, keep the salt, and then I don’t need to add more salt later (so long as I know how much I used to sweat the eggplants with)?

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  5. Rick

    just this morning came across this recipe (it sounds great!) but am also wondering about the instructions to score the eggplant slices – which side of the eggplant slice is to be scored – is it the outside or the inside or does it make no difference? Thanks

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