Olive & Mango
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1 cup small green Puy lentils (look for the smaller ones, sometimes called French lentils, not the regular ones)
1 medium-sized eggplant
2 tbsp unsalted vegan butter
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
4 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced (approx. 2 cups)
1 & 2⁄3 cups cilantro leaves
1⁄4 cup tahini paste
2 tbsp lemon juice (I used juice from 1 lemon)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1⁄3 small red onion, sliced very thinly
̈Hot smoked paprika, regular paprika or sumac
̈A good drizzle of olive oil
Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the lentils.
Turn down the heat a bit and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are just cooked. Drain the lentils and set aside.
While the lentils are cooking, preheat the oven to 450°F.
Place eggplant in a roasting pan or sheet pan. Roast the eggplant and turn halfway, until the skin has charred and the interior is very tender when pierced with a knife, approx. 20 minutes. Let cool.
Peel and seed the cooled eggplant, scrape the flesh out of the eggplant into a small bowl and set aside.
In a large skillet over medium/high heat, melt the vegan butter and add the olive oil. Add the garlic and cumin to the pan and stir for about a minute.
Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan, along with about 3⁄4 of the cilantro, the eggplant and the lentils. Stir to combine, and let it cook for a minute. Stir in the tahini, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of salt, lots of fresh ground pepper and approx. 5 tbsp water.
Lower the heat to medium and cook gently for about 5 minutes.
Roughly mash the lentils with a potato masher or wooden spoon (or you can transfer 1⁄3 of the mixture to a food processor and pulse a few times, return to pan and stir though the rest of the lentils) so that you get a thick porridge consistency.
Serve the lentils hot, sprinkled with the sliced onion and the rest of the cilantro.
Drizzle with olive oil and dust with paprika. Eat with pita bread, crusty bread or seeded crackers.