Turkish Lentil and Eggplant Stew with Pomegranate Molasses
This recipe is a little more time consuming, but quite unique and delicious. It uses an ingredient called Pomegranate Molasses which is a condiment used much like ketchup in some cultures. It can be found at Wegmans. I have adapted this recipe from Food and Wine magazine (July 2004) and used small French green lentils which hold their shape nicely. I also finish this in a crock-pot rather than on the stove. On these hot summer days I just leave the crock-pot cooking outside.
One 1 ½ pound long, narrow eggplant
½ cup lentils ( I use French green lentils: available at Wegmans)
I medium onion, finely chopped
4 minced garlic cloves
One 14.5 ounce canned diced tomatoes or 2 medium tomatoes peeled and chopped
2 Tbs. chopped mint leaves
1 Tbs. tomato paste
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
¼ cup pomegranate molasses (available at Wegmans)
- In a saucepan cover the lentils with water and salt and boil over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes until barely cooked. Add more water if necessary to prevent burning.
- Cut eggplant into ¼ inch slices and fry in olive oil until lightly browned. IT does not have to be fully cooked. Salt and set aside.
- Fry onion until softened and beginning to brown, add garlic and fry together for another minute.
- Mix onions, garlic, tomato, tomato paste, mint and red pepper.
- In a crock pot layer the lentils, eggplant and onion-tomato mixture and salt to taste. Add 2 Tbs. olive oil and the pomegranate molasses. Put the crock pot on low for 5-6 hours or until the lentils and eggplant are fully cooked. Check a few times and add water if necessary. Refrigerate if possible and eat the next day. Garnish with more chopped mint leaves.