Lentil & Eggplant Chili Mole

I love talking food with my clients. Recently, one of my clients was raving about a fabulous recipe she made. I have yet to try the dish, but it sounds so amazing (and her review so convincing) I thought I would pass it along to all of you. Don’t fear the long ingredient list. It’s simple stuff you probably have in your pantry already. And heck, if you cook like me, it’s a snap without measuring. Enjoy!

Lentil & Eggplant Chili Mole

Serves 6, active time 15 minutes, total time 1 hour

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, cut into medium dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into medium dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon mild chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup dried green lentils, washed
4 cups vegetable broth
One (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 pounds eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 teaspoons agave nectar or pure maple syrup
Cilantro, for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions and bell pepper in the oil until translucent, 5 to 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, and salt. Add n cup of the vegetable broth and the cocoa powder, and cook for about 1 more minute while stirring to dissolve the cocoa.

2. Add the lentils, remaining vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, and eggplant. Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil, keeping a close eye on it. 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. Mix in the agave. Taste for salt and seasoning

3. Let the chili sit for 10 minutes or so for maximum flavor. Serve garnished with cilantro, if you like.