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Turkish Lentil and Eggplant Stew with Pomegranate Molasses

turkish lentil stew 

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)

Olive oil

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)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Fry onion until softened and beginning to brown, add garlic and fry together for another minute.
  4. Mix onions, garlic, tomato, tomato paste, mint and red pepper.
  5. 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.

 

 

 

                    

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