Tofu, Aubergine, and Beluga Lentils with Pomegranate Molasses

June 12, 2016
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

Its sweet and sour with a little bit of heat from the chili. Let's make tofu seductive, I thought (realising that this might be a contradiction in terms). Serve with rice or flatbread. —morning glory

Test Kitchen Notes

I really enjoyed this dish and was surprised by the mix of flavors. The only thing that would have made this dish better would be the added spiciness: The sauce thickened in about 8 minutes, which didn't leave much time for the chilis to infuse their flavor. The pomegranate molasses added a really nice sweetness to the dish and the five-spice balanced it out. I would definitely make this dish again, though I'd simmer it for longer to get more heat out of the chilis, and sub chicken for tofu. —Angela

  • Serves 2
  • 300 grams tofu [Editors' note: We used firm tofu.)
  • 1 aubergine
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 125 grams cooked beluga (black) lentils
  • 400 grams tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3 bird's eye chilis
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Mint or coriander (cilantro) leaves to garnish
In This Recipe
  1. Heat the oven to 180° C (356° F).
  2. Chop the aubergine into small chunks and place on a non-stick oven tray. Drizzle over 2 tablespoons oil and toss the aubergine until coated.
  3. Bake aubergine in the oven for 20 to 25 mins until softened and slightly crispy.
  4. Drain the tofu (it usually comes in a pack with liquid) and press with paper kitchen towels until as dry as possible. Cut into chunks.
  5. Fry the tofu pieces gently in 1 tablespoon oil, turning as required, until slightly golden on all sides.
  6. Put the pomegranate molasses, soy sauce, and chili powder into a bowl and mix. Add the tofu pieces and turn them in the marinade. Leave to soak while you prepare the sauce.
  7. Gently fry the chopped onion in 1 tablespoon of oil until it is softened. Add the spices and fry gently for a few minutes, adding a little water if necessary.
  8. Add the tinned tomatoes and the whole chilis, pierced with a sharp knife to release their flavor. Cook for ten minutes on a medium heat to reduce and thicken the sauce. Check for seasoning and add salt if required. Add the lentils and heat through.
  9. Add the eggplant and tofu to the sauce and then heat through over low heat for 10 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle shredded mint or chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves to garnish.
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