Many people say that lentils don’t require soaking, but I still prefer to soak black and green lentils with apple cider vinegar before cooking to prevent digestive troubles and to shorten cooking time.
2⁄3 cup beluga lentils or French green lentils (soaked with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar for 6-7 hours and rinsed)
1 medium onion, minced 1 small carrot, minced 1⁄3 lb butternut squash or Japanese pumpkin, chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 big eggplant (about 1 lb), sliced or cubed 1 (14 oz) can tomatoes 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce 1 tbsp maple syrup 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 2-3 tsp dried Italian herbs 1 & 1⁄2 tsp pink salt 1 & tsp smoked sweet paprika 1⁄2 tsp cumin powder 1⁄2 tsp coriander powder Olive oil
̈Pasta or rice ̈Red chili pepper, if you wish
Preheat oven to 390°F. Place sliced or cubed eggplant on a baking tray. Drizzle olive oil and roast for about 30 minutes until golden brown.
In a large pot, sauté onion and garlic with 2 tbsp olive oil for a few minutes. Add pinch of pink salt and continue to sauté until they become tender.
Add carrots, butternut squash, lentil and cook for a few more minutes.
Add rest of the ingredients except eggplant and bring to boil. Heat over medium to low flame for 25-30 minutes with a lid. Stir occasionally as to not burn it.
Add roasted eggplant. Using a spoon or fork, mash and mix the eggplant and squash. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.