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Curried Lentil and Whipped Potato Casserole–a healthy take on Shepherd’s Pie.

Posted by Peggy on October 18, 2017

Curried Lentil and Whipped Potato Casserole
Recipe: Curried Lentil and Whipped Potato  Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon seasoned ghee* or canola oil
  • 1 ½-2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups carrots cut into large dice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Chaat Masala or curry powder
  • 16 ounces canned tomato sauce
  • 1 ¼ cups brown or green lentils, rinsed; small stones removed, if necessary
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • Cayenne, as desired
  • Chopped cilantro, as desired
  • 4 pounds Yukon Gold or Russet potaoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1-3**tablespoons unsalted butter or seasoned ghee, plus additional fat for dotting over casserole prior to baking.
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric (if not using seasoned ghee)
  • 1/2-3/4’s cup half-and-half, whole milk or skim milk**

Instructions

  1. Heat ghee or oil in a large, heavy-bottomed sauté pan or Dutch oven.
  2. Add onion, carrots and a pinch of salt and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just beginning to soften, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic and masala or curry powder and cook an additional minute.
  4. Stir in lentils, tomato sauce and stock and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until lentils are just tender, about 40 minutes. If liquid is absorbed before the lentils are cooked, add additional stock.
  5. While lentils are cooking, preheat oven to 450 degrees and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook potatoes in boiling water until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and mash with a potato masher. Stir in seasoned ghee or butter and half-and –half, whole or skim milk. (If not using the seasoned ghee, stir in turmeric at this time.) Season to taste with kosher salt and cayenne. If desired, further whip potatoes with an electric beater.
  6. Season lentil mixture to taste with kosher salt, cilantro (I used a small fistful) and cayenne.Spoon mixture into a 9X12-inch large-lipped casserole. Spoon and smooth mashed potatoes over top .
  7. Top casserole with dots of ghee or butter and brown on middle rack in hot oven for 9-12 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve warm. (Leftovers are a bonus!)

* I used a turmeric-seasoned ghee, purchased at Trader Joe's. **Of course using several tablespoons of butter and half-and-half will add yummy richness to your mashed potatoes. But reducing the butter and using skimmed milk still makes for a savory casserole.

Active time: 50 minutes

Time to simmer lentils: About 40 minutes

Time to brown casserole: 10-12 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 8 servings (leftovers have been appreciated throughout the week!)

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