Hi! I don't eat legumes. Can I omit the lentils in the Indian-Spiced Shepherd's Pie in Simply Nigella or replace them with something else? Thanks!
Nigella's Indian-Spiced Shepherd's Pie (from SIMPLY NIGELLA) is made with a combination of lamb mince (ground lamb) and red lentils. The pie is topped with sweet potatoes that are mashed with ginger and lime, providing a soothing contrast to the spicy filling. The lentils give body to the filling and they could be omitted, though you may want to reduce the amount of chilli flakes (red pepper flakes) used as the lentils will tend to dampen some of the heat of the chillies and without the lentils the filling could be too fiery.
The lentils also absorb quite a bit of moisture so you will need to reduce the amount of water used in the recipe. We would suggest adding just a splash of water to the lamb mixture (instead of using a full can) and then keep a close eye on the pan as it simmers, adding extra splashes of water as needed to give a moist, but not runny, meat sauce.