My Ready Steady Cook Challenge begins!
As my list is vegetarian, the main meal was going to be my tamaletjie. What’s the best way to tackle a problem? Start with what you know. Cottage Pie is my go-to dish.
It’s a winter staple in our house. A rich, gravy flavour matched with buttery potato goodness is the perfect way to forget about stuffy offices, frozen fingers pawing away at keyboards and those ever intellectually challenged colleagues.
2 cups dry lentils
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 onion, chopped finely
1 can tinned tomatoes
handful of chopped fresh basil
1 tbs chopped garlic
1 tbs olive oil
2 tsp paprika
1 tbs butter
1/2 cup of milk
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Cook lentils in double the volume of water until soft and almost mushy. Cook it slowly otherwise it will stick to the bottom of the pot. This one I’ve tried ‘n tested.
In another pot, cook your finely cubed potatoes in water until really soft ‘n mushy.
In a heavy based pan, fry onion in oil until soft. Add garlic. Add lentils and 1 tsp paprika. Turn down the heat of the pan. Add tomatoes and let it cook for about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Once the lentil mixture has stiffened a bit and lost some of its liquid, pour it into a casserole dish.
Crack the raw egg into the lentil mixture and mix. Add basil and mix again.
Once your potatoes are cooked, mash them with butter, milk, salt and pepper.
Spoon the mash on top of the lentil mixture and flatten. Decorate with paprika, herbs or simply make pretty patterns with your fork.
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
It passed the taste test once fed to Guinea Pig Danny.