This is one of my favourite pies. It is easy to make and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
10 shallots (300g), finally slices
1 leek (200g), finely sliced
4 large garlic cloves, finely sliced
2 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus some extra for dusting
400g mushrooms, finally sliced and then chop roughly
125g shiitake mushroom, finally sliced
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
250g puy lentils, rinsed
2 spring of rosemary
½ tsp black pepper
1.25 litre vegetable or beef stock
2 large aubergines, chopped to approximately 1.5cm cubes
50g tomato purée
Aleppo pepper, pul biber or Turkish pepper flakes
600g charlotte potatoes, very thinly sliced, ideally with mandolin
Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, shallots, leeks and a pinch of salt to a large pan and cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until the shallots and leeks are soften, golden and become one-third in size. Add the garlic and cook for couple of minutes before adding the turmeric and cinnamon. Stir for a minute. Add the mushrooms and turn the heat to high, stir to mix and carry on stirring until the mushrooms are soft and juicy. Add the chopped tomatoes, lentils, rosemary, black pepper and stock. Stir to mix and bring to the boil. Cook for one hour on a low heat with the lid on.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C fan/ 425°F/ Gas 7 and line a baking trays with baking parchment. In a large bowl, add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, a pinch of salt and the chopped aubergines. Stir to mix. Place in a single layer (you might need to use two baking trays) and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Set aside.
Discard the rosemary sticks from the lentil pan and add the tomato purée to the lentils. Stir to mix. Season with salt and red pepper flakes (according to your taste).
Add half of the lentils to a baking pan (about 30cm in diameter). Dust some cinnamon on top of the roasted aubergines and then add the aubergines in a single layer on top of the lentils before adding the remainder of the lentils on top.
For topping, take your time to arrange the potatoes on top. When the potatoes cover the lentils fully, brush the surface gently with olive oil and cover the baking pan tightly with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes at 180°C fan/ 160°F/ Gas 4. Then, remove the foil and bake for another 25-30 minutes at 200°C fan/ 425°F/ Gas 7 or until the potatoes are golden. Serve.