I wanted to branch out from my recent focus on Italian recipes, so this recipe incorporates lentils and several spices I had never used before. It was a fun (and tasty!) experiment into Indian-inspired cooking without getting too spicy hot. For those of you with a higher spiciness tolerance, you may want to add more “kick” to your own version of this recipe. I think it would also work well with more vegetables, tofu, or other elements added.
[V*] Make this recipe vegan by substituting vegan cheese.
- Olive oil for sauteing
- 1 can of pre-cooked lentils, drained and rinsed
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes (12 oz)
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 5 small or 3 medium red potatoes, cubed small
- 2 small/medium brown baking potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
- 3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
- Microwave-safe bowl and plastic wrap
- Large sauce pan or small/medium stew pot
- Casserole dish (9×13 or a little smaller)
- Cook the rice. (Follow package directions, or use leftovers you have on hand.)
- Put the red potato cubes in a microwave-safe dish with about 1 tablespoon of water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until potatoes are fairly soft.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- While the rice is cooking and the red potatoes are microwaving, saute onions and minced garlic in a little olive oil. I did it right there in the pot, rather than dirty up the skillet. Just be sure to stir continuously so it doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pot.
- Add lentils, tomatoes, and spices to the pot. Stir.
- Add red potato cubes to the pot and stir. Simmer for a few minutes until potatoes are soft.
- Add rice to the pot and stir. Simmer for another few minutes.
- Pour the whole mixture into the casserole dish.
- Lay the thin slices of potato over the top, then spread the shredded cheese on top of the potatoes.
- Bake uncovered at 375 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. The potato slices on top should be soft enough to stab easily, but don’t expect them to be as soft as the cubed red potatoes.
- Enjoy as a main course or side dish. This dish also freezes very well.