This sweet, aromatic casserole, is ideal for a cold winter’s evening – comfort food at its best.  Swop out the mince for lentils to create a meat-free take on a popular South African classic.

Serves up to eight people


2 cups dried lentils

6 cups water

4 tsp oil or butter

2 onions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated

2 tsp turmeric

1 Tbsp ground coriander

2 Tbsp curry powder

2 slices crust-less bread, small pieces (soaked in a bit of milk)

1 cup carrots, grated

1 red pepper, diced

2 fresh chopped tomatoes

¼ cup sultanas

¼ cup chopped, dried peaches or apricots

3 Tbsp chutney

1 cup water

1 tsp dried vegetable stock (MSG-free)

1 tsp black pepper

3 eggs

1 ½ cup milk or dairy-free milk alternative

½ tsp salt

½ tsp turmeric

5 bay leaves (fresh or dried)


  1. Rinse lentils in a fine mesh sieve with clean water. Inspect and remove any bad lentils or small stones.
  2. Add lentils and water to a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a very low simmer, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes or until tender but not mushy.  Drain well.
  3. Heat oil in a large pan and fry onions and garlic until soft.
  4. Add turmeric, coriander and curry powder and mix with onions and garlic.
  5. Add cooked lentils, bread, carrots, red pepper, chopped tomatoes, sultanas, peaches, chutney, water, stock and black pepper and mix well.
  6. Cook over low heat, stirring regularly, until cooked.
  7. Spoon into a greased baking dish and level the top.
  8. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Add salt and turmeric.
  9. Pour over lentil mixture and put the bay leaves on top. Bake, uncovered, at 180 degrees Celsius for 35 minutes or until set.
  10. Serve hot with rice, fresh, chopped coriander, coconut, chutney, toasted almonds, banana slices and tomato salad.


  • To prevent dish from drying out while baking, stand dish in a larger pan of water.
  • Use 3 x 400 g cans lentils (drained and rinsed) instead of dried lentils.
  • Add 3 Tbsp garam masala, 1 Tbsp ground cumin, 1 tsp chilli powder, and/or 1 tsp ground cinnamon for extra flavour.
  • For a gluten-free dish, replace bread with ½ cup coconut flour or 1 medium sweet potato in the skin, coarsely grated.
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