Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Mango Pickle Lentil Pasta Bake

Not only has the fierce wind and rain been bashing parts of Scotland, we have also been warned that we may have the volcanic ash cloud to contend with from the recent Icelandic volcano eruption.

Well when everything seems a little grey and i don't mean just the weather, comfort yourself with food, in this case its a plate of 'Mango Pickled Lentil Pasta Bake'.  Really we should be indulging in early strawberries, zingy rhubarb and spring vegetables, but no we are still cooking with store cupboard ingredients and eating rib sticking food.

Please don't go 'Ugh - Lentil and Pasta - how boring'. I've made a Lentil Pasta before and the lentils lends itself wonderfully as a sleek sauce.  You can describe this Mango Lentil Pasta Bake as a Spiced up version of Macaroni Cheese.  I know the mango pickle sounds strange in a creamy cheesy dish, but take my word for it, it really works.  One of my absolute favourite recipes using Mango pickle is my Dads Achari Aloo (Mango Pickled Roast Potatoes).  The mango pickle is sharp and lifts the creamy element of the pasta which I would normally find just bland.  The cooked lentils also retained a little bite giving this pasta bake texture. I especially liked the golden topping and thoroughly enjoyed breaking into the crispy exterior with my fork.  You could just eat the Red Lentil Mango Dal as it is too,if you so wish.
I am submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights #215. PPN was founded by Ruth Daniels of Once Upon a Feast and each Friday night a different host posts a roundup of pasta dishes submitted by bloggers from around the world. This week PPN is being hosted by Trish of My Slap Happy Kitchen.
Mango Pickle Lentil Pasta Bake
Serves 4 - 6
For the Mango Dal - Red Lentil layer
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, finely sliced
2 clove garlic, crushed
160g red lentils
1 x 400g can of tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato puree
2 – 3 tablespoons mango pickle, drain the oil. If the pickle is chunky, chop it roughly (or mango chutney)
1 bay leaf
A few drops of hot sauce such as Tabasco to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
For the pasta topping
120g penne pasta
20g butter
20g plain flour
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Optional: 1 tablespoon dreid fenugreek
400ml milk
Salt and pepper to taste
160g Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 teaspoon dried breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon black, brown or yellow mustard seeds (or a mixture of all)
First make the lentil layer: heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Cover and cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes or until the onion is softened and transparent.
Add the lentils, tomatoes, tomato puree, mango pickle, bay leaf, hot sauce and season to taste. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes until the lentils are cooked and the excess liquid has evaporated, leaving a thick but not dry mixture. Discard the bay leaf and transfer the tomato-lentil base to a deep ovenproof dish.
Preheat oven to gas mark 6.
Now make the past bake topping: bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the penne and cook according to packet instructions or until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in another saucepan and ad the flour and cayenne pepper and cook, stirring for a minute. Remove from the heat, add the optional fenugreek if using and then pour the milk in steadily and mix well. Return to the heat and stir until boiling, then lower the heat and simmer, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes.
Stir the cooked pasta into the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. Then stir in all but 2 tablespoons of the cheddar cheese. Then evenly spoon the pasta mixture on top of the tomato-lentil layer.
Mix the reserved cheese with the breadcrumbs and the mustard seeds and sprinkle evenly over the surface.
Bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the topping is golden.


  1. I hope everything is okay for you, environment wise. These pastas look delicious.

  2. I like lentils and pasta together, Mango, and the mango pickle sounds like a great flavor enhancer - pure comfort food!

  3. This dish is far from boring! What a creative and yummy mix of ingredients!

  4. I have never heard of mango pickle but it sounds quite good. A really interesting mix of flavors and foods you have here.

  5. Mango pickle?! Well, I never! I bet it really does work though! Sounds very interesting.

  6. My tastebuds are going bonkers dreaming about this dish! I don't know if I have a source for Mango Pickle -- any sub suggestions?

  7. Thank you so much Yummychunklet.
    The 'natural environment' is much better today, but we have more terrible weather coming our way. It does get rather depressing.

    Thank you Barbara GF.
    This really is pure comfort food, on the same par as Veggie Shepherdhess Pie!

    Thank you so much Sally.
    It does pack flavoru and textures.

  8. Hi foodfeud.
    You can purchase mango and lime pickle from your South Asian/Indian style grocers. These Pickles are usually covered in mustard oil, which people can find a little off putting as it has a strong smell and dyes everything it touches.

    Thanks Hazel
    It does assure you, I can vouch for it.

    Thanks Trish.
    Your comment has given me the giggles.
    You can usually find mango and lime pickle in South Asian/Indian Grocers. If you can track one down, mango chutney would be a good substitute. I've up-dated the recipe to to include the suggestion, as it had not occured to me that mango pickle may be a little difficult to find.

  9. When I manage to find some mango pickle I am def going to make this. Sounds delish!

  10. I sincerely hope you enjoy it Vintage Jane.
    Please let me know how you find it. If you can't find mango pickle, mango chutney would be a good sub.

  11. Great recipe and sure to cheer up the greyest of days. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. Since we're having gloomy weather too (no volcanic ash yet), this will be on my table soon.

  12. Thank you Ruth.
    The weather continues to be gloom here too.
    This pasta dish will certainly warm you up.

  13. What lovely comfort food! I see that the Scottish weather is very inspiring to your cooking :))

  14. Thanks Torwen,
    Not for long, the Scottish weather will soon be replaced with Welsh weather, which is not that dissimilar really - other than it will be a lot more warmer.


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