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RecipeReDux: Arabic Lentils with Eggplants–Habbet Rummaneh

It’s this time of month again. It’s the Recipe ReDux challenge… November’s theme is:

“Vintage Side Dishes”- Share the story of your favorite family side – or a tale about how you ReDuxed a recipe from an old cookbook or recipe card. Be it from the era of your great-grandmother, or your mom’s kitchen experiments, please tell us how your ‘old-fashioned’ side dish became a vintage favorite again.

It’s the perfect theme for this month. Except for the fact that I didn’t grow up with Thanksgiving! I love November Thanksgiving sides, but none of them come with a story of my grandmother, mother, or old recipe card.

This dish does. My grandmother is famous for it. I don’t remember eating it with a big feast or on a special occasion. It was one of those comfort meals that put a smile on my face and warmed my heart when I stepped into my grandmother’s kitchen and found it there. When I visit my grandmother’s, I still check her fridge and pantry to see what she’s been whipping up lately. Anyone else does that?

My amazing grandma on the day my older son, Khaled, was born… We were so excited to have four generations in one room!

The name of the dish is Habbet Rummaneh. Ask me not what it means. Rummaneh stands for a pomegranate, and the recipe calls for pomegranate molasses. Other than that, I’m clueless where the name came from.

This dish is best at room temperature with a piece of pita bread. You can serve it with any kind of bread. Even better, skip the bread. Lentils have carbs as is, making it a healthy carbohydrate (with protein and fiber) option.

A note about the pomegranate molasses: it’s sweet and tangy. If you’ve used it before and love it, go for the full 1.5 tablespoons. If this is your first time, go easy. Start with 1 tablespoon and add the remaining if you can’t get enough of it!

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Are we going to get the thumbs up???

My son helped me with the mixing and whisking. Encourage the kids around you to help out!

Arabic Lentils with Eggplants–Habbet Rummaneh
Recipe Type: Side dish, appetizer
Author: Nour Zibdeh
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Perfect on its own or with whole wheat pita bread
  • 1.5 c brown lentils, washed
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and cubed into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1-1.5 tbsp pomegranate molasses (read note above)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  1. Place the lentils and eggplant in a medium-size pot. Cover with at least 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the lentils and eggplant are completely cooked. Keep checking the water as lentils absorb it very quickly–and you can burn them and your pot!
  2. Meanwhile, crush the garlic clove in a mortar and pestle. Combine with pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, flour, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk to make sure there are no flour lumps. (a child can help with this step)
  3. Mix the pomegranate molasses mixture into the lentils and eggplant.
  4. Remove from heat immediately. Drizzle the olive oil, and mix again.
  5. Pour in a serving bowl or dip bowl. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.


Nour’s guidance and expertise was the key to dramatically halting our son’s [Crohn’s] disease progression! His pediatric gastroenterologist is now in agreement of our choice to treat solely with diet and supplements. All his labs have improved and his inflammatory markers are so low they are practically nonexistent.

Before working with Nour, I experienced intestinal pain off and on for for 54 years with minimal success on medications. I have benefited 100% from Nour’s program as I am now pain free!

A lot of time and money was wasted on foods that I thought would help my digestive struggles [diarrhea, bloating, hunger], but in fact I was making it worse. The main benefit is getting a handle on what negatively affects my digestive symptom. Doing a total 180 to my eating habits has been pretty amazing.


3 thoughts on “RecipeReDux: Arabic Lentils with Eggplants–Habbet Rummaneh”

  1. This looks delicious Nour, and I love the photo of your grandmother holding your son-priceless! Our friends who own a Middle Eastern restaurant make a delicious dish with walnuts and pomegranate molasses. I’d love to try your lentil dish!

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