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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Zucchini and Halloumi Fritters

I have a thing for fritters. It developed in 2019. My love of them came as a surprise, and arose because:

  1. Ottolenghi has numerous recipes for fritters, and I love Ottolenghi.
  2. I evaluated Hello Fresh for 2 months or so, and they include lots of delicious fritters. (You might have caught my evaluation of Hello Fresh on Twitter.)
  3. I have perfected my egg-replacement for fritters. Use 1 Tblspn chickpea flour, 1 Tblspn cream and 0.25 tspn or less of eno per egg. Add extra chickpea flour if the mixture is too wet. The flour is for binding, the cream for texture and the eno for lightness.

My Sister in Law made these halloumi fritters for a family meal and we made them again for part of the vegetarian component of our Xmas dinner in 2019. Both times they were an absolute hit with vegetarians and non-vegetarians. You will love them and they are so easy to make yet packed with texture and flavour.

The recipe is in Nopi, the cookbook from one of Ottolenghi’s restaurants – the one he had with Scully who has moved on to open his own restaurant. Note that I often massage Ottolenghi’s recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

These are often on Nopi’s breakfast menu, but were also served later in the day as a snack. As popularity grew they made it to the lunch and supper menus as well. You can make smaller ones as a nibble or canap√©. I have had them wrapped in Chinese Moo Shu Pancakes with cucumber and spring onion, topped with a hoisin based sauce. DIVINE.

Similar recipes include Sweetcorn, Spring Onion and Chilli Pancakes, Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters, Aloo Tikki, Sweetcorn and Butternut Fritters, Herb and Walnut Fritters, Spinach Fritters and Pudla.

Browse our growing collection of Fritter recipes and our Halloumi dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Nopi are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Sweet Barley with Ginger Poached Rhubarb

We’ve never had barley as a sweet dish before (apart from this mixed grain/lentil congee), so when I saw this Barley Pudding recipe from The Guardian, I was intrigued. It also hit the spot with rhubarb which is shaping up to be the fruit of the season in our kitchen.

I made some adjustments to the original, as is my want. The original used A LOT of sugar, and I cut it by almost a third. That is plenty for our tastes, but feel free to add more if you prefer. Also I used far less water than indicated, and it was enough, but do keep a careful eye on the barley and the rhubarb as they cook, to make sure there is enough liquid.

Similar recipes include Char Grilled Stone Fruit with Scented Yoghurt, Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam, Beetroot and Rhubarb Salad, and Black Pepper Rhubarb with Gin Soaked Cumquats.

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Sweetcorn, Spring Onion and Chilli Pancakes

Goodness, how good are these sweetcorn pancakes! They make the perfect weekend breakfast or lazy Sunday lunch. I would also make them for an eat-in-front-of-netflix weekend evening meal with a green salad, or, heaven forbid, some chips with spicy mayo.

It’s based on an Ottolenghi recipe. I have made it egg-free with my usual replacement for eggs in dishes like this. That is – chickpea flour, cream and eno or baking soda. Recently I have changed the ratio I use – 5 rounded Tblspn chickpea flour + 1 large Tblspn cream + 0.25 tspn eno per egg. You can use less flour of course, but don’t leave out the cream. It adds beautiful texture. If you are vegan you might like to play around with some vegan cream, perhaps. If you want to see Ottolenghi’s original recipe, check his books or Guardian website.

Similar recipes include Sweetcorn with Black Pepper and Lime, Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters, Aloo Tikki, Zucchini and Sweetcorn Fritters, Sweetcorn and Butternut Fritters, Sweet Potato Fritters, Broad Bean Burgers, and Indian Pakoras.

Browse all of our Sweetcorn recipes and all of our Fritters and Pancakes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Eggfree Crespeou | Vibrant Layered Chickpea Pancakes

Crespeou (pronounced cres-PAY-oo) is a Provencal (France) layered dish normally composed of mini-omelettes filled with herbs and vegetables, and then layered in alternating colours. I make my usual chickpea flour pancakes/pudla/cheela instead of omelettes, to make the dish egg-free. It is a simple technique using common ingredients to produce a vibrant savoury cake.

Prepared in advance, the dish can be served hot or cold. Serve warm with a tomato and red onion salad, or, even better, wrap in foil, refrigerate and serve next day. Take it on picnics and to potlucks.

Similar dishes include Sweetcorn, Spring Onion and Chilli Pancakes, Farinata with Tomatoes, Onions and Cheese, Socca, and Pudla with Green Coriander.

Browse all of our Provencal recipes, French recipes and Chickpea Flour Pancakes recipes.

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Fennel Jam

Every part of the fennel bulb is edible, and the roots, bulb, shoots, fronds and seeds all carry the same intoxicating, aniseedy fragrance in varying intensities. It is not everybody’s favourite flavour vegetable, but I have not yet found a person who does not love this jam.

The fennel is cooked down with vinegar and brown sugar until it is sweet, jammy and sticky. You can use the jam with either savoury or sweet applications. The whole bulb is used – there is no waste at all. The jam goes perfectly in sandwiches, on toast, with cheese, topping a base of potato, polenta or cauliflower puree, or as part of a tapas or mezze table. Or just use as a chutney.

The recipe originates from The Guardian, and we’ve adopted and adapted it as a family favourite.

Choose fennel bulbs with stems and fronds intact if you can. Use the fronds as a herb: elevate a salad with them, add to salsa verde, add it to your cooling drinks, or chop and sprinkle over any dish to add an unmistakable fennel aroma.

Similar dishes include Fennel a la Grecque, Chilli Jam, Onion Jam, and Tomato and Chilli Jam.

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Breakfast Rice and Raisin Porridge

I am not much of a breakfast eater, and in general prefer the savoury options common in Northern and Eastern Europe, and those of India and S.E. Asia, to the sweet and sickly options of the West English speaking countries. Don’t get me wrong, I love a true French croissant with jam, and sometimes pancakes with honey (or sugar and lemon juice). I even have a large container full of my overnight oats mix on standby for mornings when I am super hungry as there is no other cereal in the house. But mostly we either skip the morning meal or prefer something more savoury. Even the overnight oats is unsweetened beyond the dried fruit and dried citrus that it contains.

This breakfast, however, is a little sweet – it has raisins in it – but is rice based, so that is a plus. It is for the days that I do crave some sweetness. Rice is ground to a coarse mix then cooked with the dried fruit. Cinnamon is added to bring a warm sweetness to the dish. You can sweeten it more with your sweetener of choice – I’ve always loved Golden Syrup. It is also great with spiced glazed apples or poached oranges and vanilla ricotta.

Rice porridge is mostly made for breakfast but in this house, it can be eaten at any time of the day. It is a great Winter dessert when your cupboards are bare. Rice and raisins – there isn’t anything more simple. Top with cream and fruit.

This dish can also be made savoury – omit the raisins and cook with Indian spices. Gorgeous. Use spices that you might use for Upma. Top with cashew nuts sauteed in ghee.

You need a high speed blender to make this dish.

Similar recipes include Black Rice with Tomatoes, Breakfast Dishes, and Poached Oranges with Ricotta.

Browse all of our Breakfasts and all of our Rice dishes. Or simply explore our Early Spring recipes.

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Menthe Dose | Methi Dosa | Fenugreek Seeds Dosa

Today we have a soft and porous dosa recipe that is simply made with rice and fenugreek seeds. It is a very easy and comforting dosa recipe that can be served with coconut chutney, tomato chutney, curry leaves chutney or sambar, or with ghee and sugar. I love this dosa with Golden Syrup as well!

By the way, it is a great Summer dish as fenugreek has strong cooling properties.

It is a very healthy dosa, but it comes with a couple of gotcha’s. Firstly, it should be well fermented, or it will be bitter from the fenugreek and hard in texture – it needs a good 12 hours of fermentation at a warm room temperature. It’s the fermentation that moderates the bitterness. The second is to heat the tawa before adding ghee, otherwise the dosa will stick. Best to use a non-stick tawa. And finally, don’t add too much ghee, just enough, otherwise the dosa will still stick.

Similar recipes include Brinjal Dosa Masiyal, Potato Dosa, and Surnoli Dosa.

Browse all of our Dosa recipes and our Breakfast dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here.

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Buckwheat Upma

One of the ubiquitous dishes in South India is Upma, usually made with rava, a semolina product. But it can be made with other grains, like millet, corn, poha, vermicelli and even cracked wheat. Today I am making it with buckwheat as I happened to have it in the cupboard. Buckwheat is particularly good for upma as it cooks to a creamy porridge-like consistency.

Upma is much loved, especially in Tamil Nadu, as a breakfast dish and as a tiffin. But really, it is very easy to make. The grain, usually rava, is cooked in a spice flavoured liquid until the desired consistency is reached. Some like it thin, some thick. Truly it is generally made in under 10 mins, although using buckwheat takes a little longer due to its cooking time.

Similar dishes include Fried Upma, Buckwheat Polenta, and Buckwheat Salad.

Browse all of our Upma recipes, and our Buckwheat dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here.

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Pan Fried Mushrooms in Butter with Garlic

There is nothing better than pan fried mushrooms with garlic, especially if lots of butter is involved. It is a great breakfast dish (think thick slabs of toast topped with the mushrooms dripping with butter), for a side dish, for sandwiches and wraps and as part of tapas, mezze or a grazing plate.

They are so very easy to make and can be done in a jiffy. Any mushrooms or mix of mushrooms can be used – today we used the cute little baby King Oyster mushrooms.

Similar recipes include Mushrooms with Barley and Preserved Lemon, Eggplant, Potato and Tomato, Soba Noodles with Quick Pickled Mushrooms, Mushrooms in Terracotta, and Mushrooms for Toast.

Browse all of our Mushroom recipes and all of our Breakfast dishes. Or explore our Late Winter dishes.

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