You must know by now, I just can’t leave any dish alone. That applies to the simple lentil bake.
I’ve changed the lentil bake to suit my palate and it is now a spicy curried lentil bake! This lentil bake is on the same level as having my version of shepherd’s pie only here you’re using the lentil and it’s an absolute winner for vegetarians.
With the addition of spices and in this case I also added some vegatable textured protein aka soya mince. Not quorn mince but actual soya mince.
Soya mince has no egg added unlike Quorn mince. This bulks it up a little bit more and also adds a little more bite and texture to the actual filling.
The addition of vegetables, frozen in my case makes for a wholesome and suitably a fantastic main dish that you must try for serious flavour!
This particular recipe and dish is an absolute winner with my family and goes down really well served up with some sides.
I serve with broccolini or spring greens, kale ecetera that is gently sauteed or steamed.
I leave the lentil mixture a little loose because lentils by nature have the tendency of drying alittle absorbing any residue after cooking. What I want too is an almost floury taste of the lentil and a little bite when eating the pie.
As usual it’s finished off with some lovely buttery home made mash to top off and pop in the oven to cook untill golden on top!
This is fusion dish, adapted for an asian family where chilli and spice is always pleasing!
Don’t be afraid of the quantities of spices as it takes into account that soya and lentils absorb spices and on their own are bland and its eaten with mash.
Only halve the spices if you halve the lentils and soya mince. It really needs the amounts stated for the optimum flavour.
1 cup, frozen mixed veg
1 cup Soya mince
1 cup Brown lentils
1 cup Red Lentils
1/2 cup veg oil
2 tbsp cumin powder
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
2 tsp salt
1 large onion finely chopped
1 red bell pepper
5 cloves garlic minced
4 green chillies chopped
4 tbsp tomato puree
1 cup of Fresh chopped coriander
390g carton Passata
4 cups of hot water
2 tsp sugar
2 stock cubes either chicken or veg. I alway use Knorr brand.
10 medium potatoes made into mash or frozen mash as I use sometimes.
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion, fry for few mins till a little golden.
Add the garlic, green chillies and continue to cook till the onions have more colour.
Now add the tomato puree and salt.
Cook for a few minutes more. As you notice the oil separating add half cup of water and the powdered spices. Cook till the oil splits.
Add the pasata and again cook till the oil splits.
Add the frozen mixed vegetables.
Stir this in and also the washed and drained lentils and soya mince.
Continue to cook the ingredients for a while to ensure the spices are well integrated.
Now add water, sugar, stock cubes and red pepper, let this simmer untill the lentil is almost cooked.
You want a loose but compact mixture as it will dry further in the oven.
Transfer the lentils into a baking dish. It will start to thicken a little and get creamy.
Top with mash. Use a fork to create grooves on the surface. This helps create a lovely golden crispy top.
A dusting of black pepper is optional.
Bake in the oven at 180 deg for about 30mins on middle shelf.
Serve with greens or dressed salad
You can add quorn, or real mince!
I’ve done pies with quorn chunks as my daughter is vegetarian but otherwise I’ve done lentils with chicken mince which is my fav. This was just a vegetarian option!
Celeriac or turnip and potato topping is fab too if you want bit more veg in!
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