Lentils and Eggplant with Pomegranate and Crispy Onions | Rummaniyeh

Eggplant and dark lentils are such a paring! We loved them here – this is an extraordinary dish – and we love them in this recipe. When the eggplant is cooked with the lentils it becomes very silky and simply melts into them. This is the joy of Rummaniyeh.

Pomegranates also feature strongly in Rummaniyeh. In fact, Rumman means pomegranate, so this dish’s name, Rummaniyeh, means pomegranatey. Pomegranates are cherished in Palestine – they are an integral part of Palestinian eating, and are regarded as a symbol of abundance and prosperity.  The cheap and easy recipe uses rich, sweet-tart pomegranate molasses and pomegranate kernels (when in season), for a tangy stew in which the eggplants melt into the lentils as they gently simmer. Crispy onions, fried garlic, zingy lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, hot chilli and generous amounts of olive oil are added, to create layers of flavour and transform the primary ingredients.

Today’s recipe had its genesis in the one in Falastin by Tamini. I made some adjustments to make it simpler, with more lentils, and also to get that simmered silkiness of the eggplants.

Eat warm or at room temperature with pitta or tafoon (Middle Eastern flatbread) and a chopped salad. I like a bowl of spiced yoghurt with it. You can serve Rummaniyeh at any time, but it is especially good for breakfast!

Similar recipes include Lentil Stew with Eggplants, Lentil Salad with Pomegranate Molasses, and Walnut and Pomegranate Dip.

Browse all of our recipes from Falastin, and all Eggplant dishes.

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Toasted Barley, Pistachio and Barberry Pilaf with Yoghurt-Tahini Dressing

Who does not love a grain pilaf? – and we have a number of recipes. Each one is a variation on a theme. I love this recipe because it has a smoky flavour from the toasting of the barley and the spices. It is nutty and very delicious. Yoghurt is a common accompaniment, and today we combine tahini with it for a perfect dressing.

Similar recipes include Narangi Pulao, Matar Pulao, Barley and Lentils with Mushrooms, Freekeh Pilaf with Herbs and Yoghurt Dressing, Cypriot Grain Salad, and Mograbieh Pilaf.

Or browse all of our Pilafs and all of our Barley recipes.

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Freekeh and Burghul Pilaf

Freekeh is delicious – it is a roasted, green wheat. It is great in salads and pilafs, and today we combine it with burghul (cracked wheat) for a delicious pilaf. It can be served as is, or chopped or grated vegetables and herbs can be stirred through. Use in place of rice or as an accompaniment for dishes from countries ranging from Afghanistan to Greece.

Similar dishes include Narangi Pulao, Matar Pulao, Freekeh and Cauliflower Salad, Grilled Lettuce with Farro and Lemon, and Freekeh Pilaf with Yoghurt.

Browse all of our Freekeh dishes and all of our Burghul recipes. Or explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Tray Baked Veg with Pomegranate Molasses and Baharat

As Autumn slowly turns colder we pull out the jumpers, get the heater serviced and turn the oven on. What is it about oven cooked food that is so delightful in late autumn and winter? It is used most days during the cold weather in our kitchen. Today we throw some vegetable onto an oven tray and bake them with home made pomegranate molasses and baharat, the Middle Eastern spice.

They get placed in a very hot oven and are cooked in no time.

Similar recipes include Throw a Tray of Veg into the Oven, Tray Baked Spicy Chickpeas, Kombu Baked Veg, and Winter Roast Vegetables with Chickpeas.

Browse all of our Tray Baked dishes and all of our Baked dishes. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Dried Fava Beans with Garlic | Ful Bit-Tewm

This is a dish that is made in Spring in Malta and the Middle East with fresh broad beans. For  the rest of the year it is made with dried broad beans. There are two types of dried broad beans (generally called dried Fava beans). The first, commonly available here, are large, darker coloured beans. Huge, really. They are not peeled, so require soaking and peeling before cooking. Despite the work, I do love the intense earthy flavour of these large beans.

The second type is a more delicate dried fava bean, small in size and golden in colour. These are generally already peeled, and so less work in the kitchen before cooking. They are more difficult to find, and I had to search them out in a large Greek grocery.

Today, I am using the smaller variety, as I think that they are better suited to this dish, but note that the larger beans or fresh broad beans can also be used. It is just the cooking time that will vary.

Similar dishes include Dried Fava Beans with Onions and Fennel, Galletti – Maltese Water Crackers, Dried Fava Bean Soup, Fava Bean Puree with Herbs, and Fava Bean Puree with Dill and Olive Oil.

Browse all of our Broad Bean recipes, and our Middle Eastern recipes. Or explore all of our Mid Spring dishes.

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Walnut and Pomegranate Dip

This is a particularly great dip or spread for Autumn. You know that we love our dips and spreads, and this one makes use of our home made pomegranate molasses and the unshelled walnuts that are commonly available in the local area. Pomegranate Molasses makes great dips and spreads when mixed with any nut butter, tahini or miso.

This paste is simple to make using the food processor and easy to pull together when unexpected guests arrive. We love those sorts of recipes.

Similar recipes include White Bean and Sun Dried Tomato Dip/Spread, Grilled Eggplant with Walnuts and Pomegranate, Broad Bean Dip, Orange and Pecan Cream Cheese, and Green Olive Tapenade.

Browse all of our Dips and Spreads, and our Pomegranate recipes. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Burghul, Pistachio and Tomato Salad

Burghul seems to be used mostly a Winter grain, but I would like to reassure you that Summery Salads based on Burghul are terrific. Juicy with ripe tomatoes, fragrant with Pomegranate Molasses, crunchy with nuts, cooling with cucumber and herbs. A perfect fit for a lunch on a hot day, sitting under the grapevines.

Similar recipes include Freekeh and Burghul Pilaf, Çorban Salatası, Burghul Salad with Olives, Hazelnuts and Pomegranates, Cauliflower and Burghul Kitchari, and Burghul and Mung Kitchari.

Browse all of our Burghul recipes, our Burghul Salads and all of our Salads. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Salad-e Khiar-o Anar | Cucumber Pomegranate Salad

Since discovering golpar, I have been looking at ways to use it. This lovely salad has its origin in a book by Najmieh Batmanglij, New Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking. It is quite a terrific salad, with the flavour bursts of pomegranate kernels, the tang of the lime, golpar and salt, the freshness of mint and the cooling taste of the cucumber. It is a remarkable mix of flavours and is totally gorgeous. It would make a great Xmas Salad with those lovely colours.

Golpar is the powder made from the seeds of Iranian Hogweed, and you can read more about it here. Pick up some of the powder or the seeds at a Middle Eastern or Afghan grocery. If you can only find the seeds, grind them to a powder in a spice grinder.

Similar recipes include Salted Cucumber Salad, Pomegranate Salsa, Tomato and Pomegranate Salad, and Golpar Namak.

Browse all of our Cucumber recipes, our Pomegranate recipes and our Salads (lots of them). If you are just looking for Cucumber Salads, they are here. Or explore all of our Early Summer dishes.

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Persian Saffron Rice

Saffron rice – it’s a classic of the Middle East, and one that is so gorgeous. This is a simple recipe that gives 2 colours to the rice. Always use good saffron – nice long threads with an earthy and sweet aroma.

Serve with any Middle Eastern or even Indian dish. You will love it.

Are you wanting other ways to use saffron? Try crushing a tiny piece of saffron into a glass of champagne or sparkling apple cider, turning the drink into a golden elixir. And coffee spiced with saffron and cardamom is a wonderful, soothing drink. Try our Saffron and Spices Tea – relaxing and amazing.

Similar recipes include How to Cook Buttery Steamed Rice, How to Cook Rice with the Absorption Method, and Simple Oven Finished Rice.

Saffron dishes include Saffron Mograbieh with Broad Beans, Saffron, Date and Almond Rice, and Dates and Saffron Soaked in Spiced Ghee.

Browse all of our Rice dishes, all of our Saffron dishes, and all of our Persian recipes. Our Middle Eastern dishes are here. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Turmeric Chickpea Hummus

Hummus is pretty common in everyone’s home and in many a Middle Eastern restaurant. We make it a lot, whizzing it up in the food processor in a matter of minutes. There are many variations on hummus, but we now have our favourite way of making it, so it is a no-fuss, no thinking dish that can be on the table in under 5 minutes (if you have cooked the chickpeas ahead of time – we keep bags of them in the freezer).

Recently I came across Turmeric Chickpeas – chickpeas that have been soaked and cooked with a lot of turmeric. You can read about our experiments with them here or jump straight to the recipe (you will need it for the hummus).

For this recipe we use Turmeric Chickpeas instead of plain, ordinary chickpeas. It is the same recipe as our usual hummus, just that we are adding this twist. BTW, if you are interested in reading about the different thoughts about how to make the best hummus, check our usual recipe. It also has some variations that you can incorporate.

You might like to read our Very Special Turmeric Recipes.

Similar dishes include White Bean and Sun Dried Tomato Dip/Spread, Tray Baked Spicy Turmeric Chickpeas, Celeriac Hummus with Cauliflower Tabbouleh, Smashed Chickpeas with Dukkah and Brocolli, and Creamy Pearl Hummus Salad.

You might like to browse all of our Dips and all of our Chickpea recipes. Explore our Middle Eastern recipes. Or take some time and browse our Mid Spring recipes.

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