This dish had a big response on social media. I simply took a photo and said this is the meal I make when I have run out of ingredients, haven’t been food shopping or I am trying to save money. All these statements are true. I have been serving this meal for almost thirty years. It has improved in taste over the years.
I used the orange lentils but I’m sure it would work with any colour lentils but it’s important for the lentil mix not to be to liquidy. It is great with a big green salad and works well for leftovers the next day. The original recipe came from a Woman’s Weekly cookbook and this is my version.
1 1/2cup of red lentils
5 medium potatoes
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 chopped onion
3 celery sticks chopped
2 medium carrots diced
2 cloves of garlic diced
I can of diced tomatoes
1 cup vegetable stock (maybe more, just add while cooking)
Spices, cumin, tumeric, dried coriander, chilli, salt and pepper
And some Ajvar (I have written about this before, it’s a roasted pepper and eggplant relish available everywhere. Here is a link to a home made version).
Fry chopped onion, and garlic in a deep saucepan with olive oil.
Add diced carrot and celery and cook until just coloured a little.
Now add the lentils and make sure they are covered in oil. Add a little more oil if necessary.
Now add all the spices. Be creative if you feel like it and add a little more of something.
Pour vegetable stock over and stir.
Then add canned tomatoes and stir again. Let simmer and keep an eye on the mixture so it doesn’t get too dry. Top up with water or more stock as it thickens.
Meanwhile in the microwave place your potatoes with their skin pricked (this way they don’t explode!) Microwave until tender. Let cool and then slice into equal size pieces about 2cm thick.
Prepare an oven proof dish with a little olive oil so that the meal doesn’t stick to the sides.
When the lentil mixture is thick and tender, add a tablespoon of the Ajvar mix and stir, then pour into the dish. Place the potatoes on top in a layer. Now brush the top of potatoes with more Ajvar and oil.
Bake in a moderate oven for around 45 minutes and slightly browned on the top.
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