Romanieh – Palestinian lentil and eggplant stew with pomegranate

Comfort food for the soul. And it’s vegan.


Middle Eastern food is a firm favourite round our way. The heady spices, the delectable combinations of rich, earthy and bright flavours, the simplicity of the ingredients that go together to make something you simply cannot stop putting in your mouth. Every time we sit down to a Middle Eastern dinner, I can’t help but declare my love for food!

You can accompany this with olives, cheeses (which would make it a non-vegan meal, obviously) such as labneh, feta or halloumi, salads, stuffed vine leaves… for a truly delectable table.

This recipe was ever so slightly adapted from here with inspiration from my dear friend, the amazing Palestinian cook Sawsan.

Serves 4
Preparation: 45 minutes


250g (1 1/2 cups) brown lentils
1 tbsp ground cumin
600ml (2 1/2 cups) water
1 large eggplant (aubergine) approx. 350g / 12oz, peeled and diced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sumac
50ml (3 Tbsp + 1 tsp) olive oil
6 large cloves of garlic, minced
150ml (1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp) pomegranate molasses
juice of 2 lemons

To serve

additional olive oil for drizzling
seeds of a small pomegranate
2 Tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
pita bread


Put the lentils, cumin and water in a medium, heavy-based saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer, covered for 10 minutes. Add the eggplant, salt and sumac and cook, covered, over very low heat for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small pan over low heat, combine the olive oil and garlic and cook for 4 – 5 minutes, until fragrant but not browned. Remove from heat and set aside.

Add the fried garlic and pomegranate molasses to the lentils and stir to combine. Cook, covered over very low heat for another 5 minutes, then stir in the lemon juice.

Spoon into bowls, drizzle with a little olive oil and decorate with pomegranate seeds and parsley.

Serve with a spoon and some pita bread for scooping.

This entry was posted in middle eastern, vegan. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Romanieh – Palestinian lentil and eggplant stew with pomegranate

  1. Rosemary Campbell says:

    Really appreciate your occasionally posting vegan recipes👍And this one sounds just fabulous, as long as we can source the pomegranate seeds. Thank you!

    • pizzarossa says:

      We eat vegan more often than you’d think – most days, in fact. It’s just not always blogworthy 😉 Surely there’s a middle eastern shop somewhere that imports them? Not the most environmentally sound solution, but the only other option would be waiting for winter!

  2. What a beautiful dish! Sounds delicious too. I love the pop of color from the pomegranate seeds.

  3. Thank you so much for the shout out Rachael, I deeply appreciate it .
    I’m also thrilled that you tried the Romanieh and enjoyed it 🙂

  4. Looks delicious! I think I have to make a visit to local Middle Eastern grocery store in order to get another bottle of pomegranate molasses 🙂

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