Fire Roasted Eggplant Dal

Fire Roasted Eggplant Dal

5 from 2 reviews

Smoky lentil dal with fire-roasted eggplants, garlic, ginger, and spices. Nutritious, healthy, and flavorsome!


  • 2 large eggplants
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground chili
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • for topping: dairy-free yogurt or coconut cream


  1. Start by preparing the eggplant. Wash the eggplants and prick them several times with a thin knife, this step is essential to let the smoke pass through the flesh. Heat two gas burners to medium-high heat. Place the eggplants directly over the open flame, cook for 5-6 minutes. Turn the eggplants using spoons, or gloves (be careful not to burn yourself), and cook for another 5-6 minutes. Continue cooking, turning occasionally until the eggplants look burnt, the skin should appear dry and cracked, and the flesh should be very soft (see photos). This step took me about 25 minutes.
  2. Transfer the charred eggplants to a baking dish and cover with foil. Let cool 20 minutes, or until cool enough to handle. Peel the eggplants and discard the black skin, it’s okay if there are still a few pieces of skin here and there.
  3. Place the eggplant flesh in a food processor and process until you get a purée. Alternatively, you can use a fork to mash the eggplant flesh. Set the eggplant purée aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook until the onions are soft. Add salt, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, smoked paprika, chili, and turmeric. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add tomato paste, red lentils, water, and eggplant purée to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for about 25 minutes, or until lentils are cooked. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
  6. Serve over a bed of rice, quinoa, or with naan. Before serving, you can stir in a tablespoon of coconut cream, or dairy-free yogurt, and top with fresh basil.


If you don’t have a gas burner, preheat oven to 400°F. Place the eggplants on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 45 minutes. Turn on the grill and bake for another 7-10 minutes, or until the eggplants are shrunken and look almost burnt. Then, follow step 2.