In the dim distant past when I used to eat meat, I chanced upon this recipe while visiting an American friend, and because I showed an interest, she cooked it for me, and it did not disappoint. This is my vegetarian version, and is equally delicious. It looks pretty good when served at the table as well.
Serves 6. Preparation about 35 minutes. Cooking 45 minutes
400gm/140z/2 1/2 cups Lentils green or brown
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 clove of garlic minced
450gm/16oz tinned tomatoes chopped
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon powdered nutmeg
2 teaspoons mixed dried herbs
polenta or cornmeal
100gm/3 1/2floz/ milk
2 eggs well beaten
100gm/3 1/2oz/ cheddar cheese or parmesan grated
- Put the lentils into a saucepan, cover well with water and boil gently for 30 minutes or until soft.
- In another larger saucepan, gently fry the onion in the oil for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and continue frying for another 3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, sweetcorn, tomato puree, chilli, nutmeg and herbs. Season. Mix well and cook for 10 minutes.
- Put into an ungreased baking dish approximately 22 x 22 x 7cm/10 x 10 x 3in, smooth the surface level.
- Mix the milk, polenta or cornmeal and eggs into a jug, whisk well and pour over the surface of the mix, and then sprinkle with the grated cheese.
- Place in a pre-heated oven set at 180C/350F/Gas 5/moderate and bake for about 45 minutes or until the cheese is golden.
- Serve immediately with vegetables of your choice. This pie freezes well and I like it cold with pickles or chutney.