In honour of March 14 (3-14, aka Pi(e) Day), New Recipe Night had a pie theme. I wanted to make something savoury with protein in it. Now I think of it, every New Recipe Night dish I've come up with has been lentil based. Next time, no lentils.
Anyway, the idea for this was a pretentious "fusion" of Ethiopian and traditional English food - a meat pie crossed with Ethiopian red lentil stew. Mostly because I bought berbere on my last spice shopping trip, and wanted to use it in something.
2 cups red lentils
1 large onion
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
2 medium carrots
3 stalks celery
1 medium potato
1 clove chopped garlic
1 large can crushed tomatos (drained)
berbere (I bought this at the spice shop in Kensington market, so you get no recipe for this)
1-3 tsp smoked paprika
vegan niter kibbeh (I faked it with a mix of olive oil and earth balance instead of butter when cooking the spices) [cardamom pods, grated ginger, whole clove, tumeric, cinnamon, grated nutmeg cooked in "butter" for 30 min then strained through a coffee filter]
crisco shortening pie pastry (made according to the recipe on the box, except that I used vegan egg replacer instead of eggs).
soak the lentils overnight in water.
prep your niter kibbeh and pie pastry so the pastry can chill (I didn't know it needed that, so I did this in the wrong order).
put soaked lentils in some water and set to boiling away.
chop all veggies into small bits.
in a big pan, heat some niter kibbeh. sautee the onion, garlic and ginger until soft. Add in the peppers, carrots, celery and potato. Sautee for a while.
Mix in the berbere, 1-2 tsp of smoked paprika, tomato paste and crushed tomatos. I used the entire package of berbere, and the resulting mix was a tad... spicy.
When the lentils are soft, mix them in, too, with some water. Let simmer for a good long while; you want the lentils to start to get mushy, and the liquid to thicken. Once the veggies are all cooked through and the stew is thick from lentil/potato starch, turn off the heat.
Roll out our pastry, and spread out a layer in a pie pan. Ideally, I think this would have been better in a meat pie 2-3" diameter pan, so each person gets one pie, but I don't have those, so I made two big pies instead. Spoon in the lentil stew, and add a top layer of pastry. Cut a vent in the pie. I tired to do that int he shape of the greek letter pi, but it sort of fell apart on me.
The pastry recipe calls for a glaze of egg, which I skipped to keep it vegan. Instead, I brushed on more niter kibbeh. As a result, the pie didn't brown on top, but it was a nice bright yellow. I'll have to experiment more to get properly browned vegan pastry.