Cut onion into strips and sauté in saucepan with a tablespoon of oil until just translucent.
While the onion is heating, slice eggplant and dehydrate by adding salt and covering with a paper towel. (You can skip the dehydration if you are short on time.)
Add garlic to the saucepan to sauté with the onion.
Slice sweet potatoes. When onions and garlic are just translucent, add eggplant, yams, and 4 cups of water.
OPTIONAL: add tomatoes, red lentils/chickpeas, and hot pepper.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Add seasonings to taste — swap as needed for spice tolerance/allergies.
Boil and then reduce heat for simmer for about 20 minutes.
OPTIONAL: add coconut milk and stir
Continue simmer for another 10-15 minutes, until sweet potatoes reach desired softness.
Serve alone, or over the grain of your choice (rice or millet are my favorites) or mashed potatoes.