Rummaniyeh is a classic Palestinian dish, a lentil eggplant stew with pomegranate molasses. It’s so tangy and full of flavor, and a lovely vegetarian/vegan dish. Perfect for an interesting exotic dish that doesn’t require too much effort.
What is rummaniyeh?
This is a traditional Palestinian dish, that happens to be vegan, healthy, and packed with flavor. It’s a Middle Eastern lentil eggplant stew that is often eaten with pita bread. Made on a stovetop, it’s packed with flavor from the pomegranate juice and herbs and spices that the eggplant and lentils just soak up.
Rumman in Arabic translates to pomegranate, so the fact that this dish is called rummaniyeh just goes to show you how packed with pomegranate flavor it is.
Why should I make this lentil eggplant stew?
It’s full of exotic, tangy, and delicious flavor. The ingredients all combine to make this flavor packed delicious stew that can be enjoyed warm, at room temp, or cold.
It just happens to be vegan, and super healthy. It’s full of fiber and antioxidants.
Leftovers taste great so it can easily be made in advance.
Ingredients to make rummaniyeh:
Spices: cumin powder, black pepper, dill, lemon salt and salt
Eggplant: Medium sized eggplants, peeled and cut into cubes
Lentils: Brown lentils that you rinsed and picked for debris
Onion, garlic, and chili peppers: these form a sort of paste that you mix in with the stew while it cooks. You can either use a food processor to combine these or a mortar and pestle if you prefer.
Pomegranate juice and pomegranate molasses: You can make your own pomegranate juice, but for conveniences sake I used store bought.
Tahini and lemon juice: We commonly mix a little lemon juice into tahini like I did in this recipe, this help gets rid of any clumpy bits and loosen the tahini.
Flour: regular all purpose flour to thicken the stew. If you want to keep this gluten free, you can substitute with cornstarch, you’ll need just one heaped tbsp of cornstarch.
How do I make an eggplant lentil stew?
- Whisk together the pomegranate juice, pomegranate molasses, lemon salt, and flour and whisk. Set aside.
- Blend the onion, garlic, dill, and chili into a paste and set aside.
- Cook the lentils in a saucepan with water and spices, and 8 minutes into cooking time, add the eggplant and cook another 5 minutes. Add the pomegranate juice mix, the onion paste, and the tahini and lemon juice and mix to combine. Simmer until fully cooked, about 20 minutes.
- Enjoy with fresh pomegranate, parsley and a little extra tahini on top. I like it at room temperature scooped up with some pita bread.
What do I serve this with?
Traditionally, pita bread that you scoop the stew into while eating, sort of like you’re eating hummus. You can also eat this plain, or with some rice to make it a more substantial meal. Try this vermicelli rice or this Egyptian rice.
Storing leftover rummaniyeh:
Leftovers will last tightly covered in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can enjoy this hot, warm, room temperature or cold!
Yes, substitute flour for cornstarch, and add just a heaped tbsp of cornstarch instead of the 1/3 cup of flour.
Yes, the spice level really isn’t overwhelming even with the blended chili paste. If you prefer, you can omit the chili peppers entirely.
I really like the earthy undertone of flavor it offers, but if you prefer to leave it out or are dealing with a sesame allergy you definitely can! Just make the recipe without.
If you liked this recipe, you might like:
Rummaniyeh- Lentil Eggplant Stew
- 1 onion, halved or quartered
- 1 tbsp dried dill
- 8-10 garlic cloves, 1 small head
- 2-3 small green birds eye chilis
- 3 cups pomegranate juice
- 1 tsp lemon salt (optional)
- 1/3 cup plain flour 40g
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 4 cups water
- 1.5 cups brown lentils
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 medium eggplants, peeled and diced into cubes
- 1/2 lemon, squeezed
- 2-3 tbsp tahini paste
- In a food processor or blender, combine the onion, garlic cloves, dill, and chilis. Process until onion is finely diced and everything is combined. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, add the pomegranate juice, lemon salt, flour, pomegranate molasses, and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Add the water to a saucepan, along with the lentils, salt, cumin powder, and black pepper. Mix to combine, then turn heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Cook lentils uncovered for 8 minutes until beginning to soften.
- Add the cubed eggplant on top of the lentils, and without mixing them in, let them simmer and steam uncovered for another 5 minutes.
- Whisk together the tahini and the lemon juice, and add this to the pot along with the pomegranate juice blend, and the onion/garlic blend. Stir to combine, then loosely cover the top of the pot, allowing some air to escape and simmer on medium low heat for another 20 minutes, until eggplant cubes are tender.
- Remove from the heat, and let the pot rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate, and top with extra tahini if desired, fresh pomegranate kernels, and chopped fresh parsley. Enjoy!