This was the first mole I’ve attempted in my own kitchen, inspired by a desire to use up a bag of lentils and the arrival of local eggplant. Luckily it turned out well because the results were plentiful. Even after gifting some to a special someone, I was eating this hearty vegetarian dish nearly everyday for lunch. By the end of the workweek, my lunch felt like part of my job. Fortunately, I like my current occupation. Though if for some reason that statement doesn’t ring true for you, rest assured this dish is packed with way too many spices to ever feel like a chore to consume. Even if you’re eating it consecutively.
My main point here, this lentil and eggplant mole makes a great dish to cook up for a crowd, and a hearty one too. It’s not too heavy on the cocoa side like some moles I’ve had, but it’s definitely packed with flavor from the list full of spices that get melded into one pot. It also makes use of eggplant’s innately creamy texture when its cooked down. I chose to pair that creaminess with rice, which I could also imagine getting wrapped up together with this in a tortilla. Make sure not to forget the parsley. It adds the right finishing touch of freshness to this spice-rich dish.
Lentil And Eggplant Chili Mole
- -1 Tbsp. olive oil
- -1 onion, diced
- -1 bell pepper, diced
- -3 cloves garlic, minced
- -1 Tbsp. mild chili powder
- -2 tsp. ground cumin
- -2 tsp. ground coriander
- -2 tsp. dried oregano
- -1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- -1 Tbsp. garlic powder
- -3/4 teaspoon salt
- -2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- -1 cup dried green lentils, washed
- -4 cups vegetable broth
- -One (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- -2 lbs. eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- -3 Tbsp. flour
- -2 tsp. brown sugar
- -6-8 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
- Preheat a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions and bell pepper in the oil until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute, using nonstick cooking spray or a splash of water if it’s sticking. Mix in the chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, cinnamon, garlic powder, flour and salt. Add 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth and the cocoa powder, and cook for about 1 more minute while stirring to dissolve the cocoa.
- Add the lentils, remaining vegetable broth, diced tomatoes and eggplant. Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it’s boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are tender and the eggplant is soft. Stir in the brown sugar, and adjust salt and pepper, to taste.
- Let the chili sit for 10 minutes or so for maximum flavor. Serve over grain of your choice or with a crusty piece of bread, and top with chopped parsley.