Prep 15 mins
Cook 40 mins
Lentils soak up a lot of water, so add more water if required. The term to ‘sweat’ meaning to cook gently, is an important way to develop flavours in vegetables and add a depth of flavour to the finished dish.
- 4 large eggplants
- 25 ml olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 3 roma tomatoes, cut into large dices
- 1⁄4 bunch fresh basil, picked (remove leaves from the stems)
- 1⁄4 bunch fresh coriander, picked and washed
- 500 g lentils, washed and rinsed
- 1 large potato, peeled and cut into small dices
- 1 lemon
- 1 1⁄2 liters water
- pepper, to taste
- 1 cardamom pod
- 1 clove
- 1 star anise
- 1⁄2 teaspoon coriander seed
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin seed
- Prick the skin of the eggplants, and roast in an oven at 180°C until soft.
- Remove the flesh from the eggplants and roughly chop.
- In a heavy based pan, sweat (cook gently) the onions and garlic in olive oil.
- Add the spice mix, tomato, eggplant, and half of the coriander and basil.
- Sweat for a few minutes to release the flavours.
- Add the lentils and potatoes cover with water.
- Bring to a simmer, and remove any scum, which rises to the surface.
- Simmer until lentils and potatoes are tender (approx 20 – 30 minutes).
- Finish by seasoning, and stirring through the lemon juice, and remaining herbs.
- To serve, garnish with some fresh coriander and lemon juice.
- Spice mix:
- Lightly toast spices in a hot dry frypan until they crackle and become fragrant. (Be careful not to burn them).
- Grind mixture in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.