Credit: One Arab Vegan
aubergine, thickly sliced
onion, chopped and divided into two piles
tomatoes, quartered and blended with water until pureed
fresh parsley, chopped
garlic, crushed and minced
cooked brown lentils
unsweetened almond, (avoid rice milk)
wholewheat pastry flour
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
liquid vegetable stock
arrowroot flour, if needed
Preheat your oven to 350ºF/180ºC.
In canola oill, saute half of the onion until translucent. Add half of the blended tomatoes and leave until the mixture becomes reduced and thick and colour becomes bright red/orange for 5 minutes. Stir in the balance tomatoes along with a 1/4 cup of water, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and cook until the sauce is cooked through for 10 minutes and leave aside.
Rub a dash of salt on both sides of the aubergine. Heat a heavy bottom pan on medium-high. Add 2 tablespoons of canola oil into a small bowl. Use a pastry brush, or even paper towel, brush a small amount of oil on one side of your aubergine slice. Repeat the same process and arrange the slices in the pan. Leave for 2 minutes and then brush oil on the other side of your slices facing upwards. Flip on the other side and cook for 2 minutes. Use your fork or spatula and gently press down on the slices to extract moisture. Flip on the other side and repeat if required.
In a saucepan, whisk the wholewheat pastry flour, unsweetened almond, salt and pepper. Heat the mixture and allow to boil. Lower the heat and allow to simmer and stir frequently until the mixture becomes thick in consistency. If the bechamel is thin, add a little more flour or a pinch of arrowroot flour to help with thickening
In a separate pan, heat a little liquid vegetable stock and sautee the remainder of the onion and one clove of garlic until the onion becomes soft for 2-3 minutes. Add cooked brown lentils, fresh parsley, oregano and stir before adding tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper and allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Spoon the cooked brown lentils and tomato mixture into a casserole dish. Top up with the second clove of garlic. Add the grilled aubergine slices in layers. Fold in the bechamel sauce over the ingredients and bake until the mixture starts to bubble for 8-10 minutes.
Broil for a few minutes until the surface becomes nicely browned. Remove and serve warm.