Rumaniyya (Sour Eggplant and Lentil Stew)

This spicy-sour eggplant and lentil stew from The Gaza Kitchen cookbook gets its tang from the addition of pomegranate molasses. This recipe first appeared in our December 2013 issue along with Nancy Harmon Jenkins' article Heart of Palestine.


1. Bring lentils and 5 cups water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan. Reduce heat to medium; cook, covered slightly, until just tender, about 25 minutes, and set aside.

2. Purée lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, flour, tahini, dill, sesame oil, cumin, garlic, chiles, salt, pepper, and ½ cup water in a food processor until smooth; set aside.

3. Heat ¼ cup oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly caramelized, 8–10 minutes. Add remaining oil to pan, then add eggplant and cook until tender, 5–7 minutes. Stir in pomegranate mixture; cook until fragrant, 1–2 minutes. Add reserved lentils with their broth, plus salt and pepper; boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook until stew is slightly thick, 18–20 minutes. Ladle stew into bowls and garnish with pomegranate seeds; serve with flatbread, if you like.

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