This delicious aubergine and lentil stew is a staple dish in Palestinian households, especially in Gaza.
‘Rumman’ translates as pomegranate and it’s the molasses which give this dish its distinctive tart and slightly sour taste.
Our version uses fennel seeds, beluga lentils and we grill our aubergine, which is less traditional but we hope still remains true to the essence of this amazing food.
- Traditionally this dish is made using brown or green lentils, but we love to use black (beluga lentils). The truth is there’s very little difference other than the colour and you can use whichever lentils you like.
- This dish will keep well for a few days in the fridge if stored in an air-tight container (not including the toppings). Alternatively you can store it in the freezer for a few months.
- You should be able to find pomegranate molasses in Turkish and Middle Eastern stores, as well as some supermarkets. Alternatively you can use a combination of red wine vinegar and maple syrup. Keep adding splashes of both until the sauce becomes slightly sour and sweet.
- 2 aubergine
- olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled + finely chopped
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes, plus extra for topping
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 400g (2 cups) lentils, rinsed (we use beluga lentils)
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled + sliced
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 4 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- optional toppings: vegan yoghurt, parsley, pomegranate seeds
- crusty bread, to serve
- Add the aubergine to a shallow tray. Prick each aubergine a few times with a fork, then place under a grill on high for 20-30 mins, turning halfway, until blackened and soft all over. Then set aside.
- Drizzle a splash of olive oil in a pot on medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes or until brown.
- Next add the cumin, chilli seeds and fennel seeds. Cook for a minute to toast the spices, then add the lentils along with 1.5 litres (6 cups) of hot water from a kettle. Stir and bring to a gentle simmer, then cover with a lid and cook for 30-40 minutes or until the lentils are tender and most of the water has evaporated.
- Drizzle a generous splash of olive oil in a separate pan on a low-medium heat. Add the garlic and gently fry for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is almost about to brown, then set aside.
- Slice the aubergines down the middle, then scoop out the flesh using a fork.
- To the pot, add the garlic, along with the oil from the pan, the aubergine flesh, lemon juice, tahini, pomegranate molasses and a generous pinch of salt. Cook for 3 minutes with the lid off, stirring occasionally. Add splashes of water if the stew is too thick.
- To serve, we love to top with vegan yoghurt, chilli flakes, chopped parsley and pomegranate seeds.