Lentils cooked with Eggplant & Tomatoes

I got curious about lentils and how they were discovered so I googled the history of lentils and here is what I discovered:

  • Man has been eating tiny dried lentils practically since the beginning. From the beginning of humanity? I’m still curious who was the first human being that discovered that they are edible.
  • By 6000 B.C., lentils had reached Greece, where the legumes were regarded as poor man’s food. The opposite was true in Egypt, where remains of lentils were found in the royal tombs at Thebes dating to 2400 B.C. Smart Egyptians! A second-century fresco illustrates the preparation of lentil soup. Good thing I illustrate and film my recipes! 
  • Along with the Egyptians, the ancient Romans and Hebrews commonly ate lentils, which are mentioned several times in the Bible — most notably in the Genesis story of brothers Jacob and Esau. Esau, the firstborn, sells his birthright to Jacob for some lentil stew. I would have done the same. Who wants the responsibility of being the eldest.

You won’t have to sell your birthright for this earthy stew. Lentils are not dirt cheap anymore but still affordable. Almond yogurt, however, are pricey. Pair this protein-packed dish with a simple crisp salad—green or carrot work nicely.

I adapted the recipe from Yotam Ottolonghi’s practical and inspiring cookbook, “Simple.

Lentil plant (Lens culinaris)

Lentils Cooked With Eggplant & Tomatoes

An earthy and cosy dish. Serve with sliced radishes or cucumbers or a mixed green salad.
Prep Time10 minutes
30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Dish
Cuisine: Healthy, Plant-based, Vegan
Keyword: Healthy, Plant-Based, Vegan
Servings: 4
Author: Shelly


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil + more for serving
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 10 grape tomatoes, or 4 regular but sweet tomatoes, diced
  • Salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Persian dried lemon, gently pierced with a knife*
  • 1 +½ cups lentils
  • Almond yogurt – optional


  • Warm the olive oil in a medium skillet with high sides, over high heat. Add the onion and lower the heat to medium, stirring often.
  • Add the thyme, eggplant and tomatoes, season and stir. Add bay leaf and Persian lemon and stir. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Cover with water or vegetable stock and cook over medium-low heat until the lentils are tender but retain a bite. Serve in deep plates or medium bowls with a quick drizzle of olive oil and a dollop of yogurt.


If you don’t have Persian dried lime you can add a small chunk of preserved lemon, or a teaspoon of lemon zest.

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