Curried Chickpea and Lentil Casserole with Green Mango and Potatoes takes the delicious flavors of vegetarian Indian food and delivers them in a comforting casserole. Affiliate links have been used to link to items I am discussing in this post.
I made this casserole for the teachers at Sammy and Alex’s school for conference night. I have no idea if it was too outside the box for them or not (it is hard to say living where we do–on the one hand it is a college town; on the other hand it is the rural midwest). To us it was darn near mainstream, as it is most definitely not traditional or authentic Indian or anything other than melting pot American. It was absolutely delicious and dead simple. And easy to split into 2 casseroles: one for us and one for them (or, one for now and another to freeze); just double the recipe if you choose to do that.
This was my first time playing with green mango (although I ate it in salads in Thailand), and it was absolutely delicious. If you cannot find it at your local Asian market (or do not have a local Asian market), a tart green apple will substitute (or, this time of year, may I also recommend rhubarb?) but I saw the green mango at Jungle Jim’s and grabbed it–and am so glad I did. It was decidedly sour, but in a really pleasant, refreshing way and it did not overpower the casserole at all. Instead it kind of woke the casserole up, kept it from being too boring.
I found the beginnings of this recipe in Beatrice A. Ojakangas’s always reliable and nearly exhaustive The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever. As is often the case, however, my final result does not bear much resemblance to the recipe I was thinking about when I made it!
- 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup dried lentils du puy, cooked to tenderness
- 1 14-oz can coconut milk
- 1 cup brown Basmati rice
- 2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock to keep vegetarian
- 2 T vegetable oil
- 1 med-large onion, chopped
- 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 T curry powder
- 1 t ground yellow mustard seeds
- 1 t ground cumin
- 1 t ground coriander
- 1/4 t ground ginger
- 1/4 t ground allspice
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 green mango, peeled, seeded and finely diced
- 1/2 T chopped fresh mint
- 1 t salt divided
- Preheat the oven to 300 F.
- Rinse the chickpeas, then mix them together in a large bowl with the cooked lentils, coconut milk, uncooked brown Basmati rice and chicken or vegetable stock. Set aside.
- Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large heavy skillet. Add the onion with a pinch of salt. Cook until caramelizing, about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic. Cook for another 5 minutes. Splash with a tablespoon or two of water if it starts to stick or scorch.
- Add the ground spices. Stir constantly for 30-60 seconds.
- Add the potato. Stir until the potato chunks are yellow from turmeric in the curry powder.
- Add everything in the pan to rice-coconut milk mixture. Mix in the green mango, fresh mint and a scant teaspoon of salt.
- Lightly spray a deep 9X13 casserole dish. Dump everything into the casserole dish.
- Cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Then remove the cover and cook for another 40 minutes, until browned and the rice and potatoes are cooked through.
Affiliate links were used in this post, but only to link to items I would be discussing and linking to anyway.