Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Indian Shepherd's Pie

It'll be St Patrick's day in a couple of days, and I thought it fitting to share a shepherd's pie on this Irish festival. Honestly, I always thought of shepherd's pie as a classic British thing, but others (the Irish?) claim it's Irish. The 2 places are so close anyway I'm sure many other things overlap.

Whatever, I'm doing it Indian-style.

I adapted a Gordon Ramsay video recipe for the classic shepherd's pie--I know many people hate his foul mouth but I love how no-nonsense he is. But I also incorporated the spices in kheema matar– this man is brilliant too– for an extra special touch of spicy goodness.

Masala Kheema Shepherd's Pie
serves 4
for the filling
500g lean minced lamb (if it's beef, it'll be cottage pie)
2 large onions, grated
1 large carrot, grated
handful of mushrooms, finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 tsp ginger, grated (or 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste)
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 cardommom pods, crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masla
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1/4 cup whole plain yogurt
sea salt, black pepper
1 tbsp flour

for the mash
3-4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 egg yolk, beaten
2 tsp butter
1 tbsp parmesan + extra to top (optional but it'll really lift the dish)
sea salt, black pepper

1. Boil potatoes.
2. Add oil to a hot pan, and the whole spices to toast.
3. Add the minced meat, breaking it up and searing the meat to get the caramelised brown. Season.
4. Grate in the onions, carrots, garlic and ginger. This helps them to disintegrate into the sauce better, a Ramsay tip, which is why I didn't add the onions before the mince like what vahchef did. Also add in the flour to cook out, this will help thicken the gravy later.
5. Add the mushrooms, ground spices and tomato puree, cook for 3 min more, then add the yogurt and let simmer for 10-15 min.
6. Meanwhile, your potatoes should be cooked. Drain, mash and season. Add the egg yolk, butter and parmesan to the mashed potato.
7. Add the green chillies and garam masala powder to the mince and continue to cook uncovered till you get a dry gravy. You don't want a soggy shepherd's pie. Also a good idea to pick out the cinnamon stick (and the cardamom pods) now.
8. Tip the filling into a baking dish, then top with the mashed potato and another sprinkling of parmesan. Fork through (important, to get the crispy edges!), and dot with butter.
9. Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 20-25 min, or till golden.

Serve with a light salad, maybe in a more imaginative Indian style with thinly sliced red onions/ cilantro   than what I had. Anyhow, it should taste good. You can't go wrong with buttery parmesan-mashed potatoes and minced meat that's coated with rich savoury gravy, be it Irish or English, or Indian.

This is part of Hearth and Soul Blog Hop #39, Tasty Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday.


  1. Shu Han - this is the most delicious shepherds pie I have ever seen - I think the Indian spices just kicks it up to something truly amazing. I like the shredding of the veggies too - I will be trying this - thanks for linking this to the Hearth and Soul Hop! (I fixed the multiple link ups)

  2. And, here I was planning to make a Shepherd's Pie for St. Pat's with left-over corned beef. Your spicy additions sound perfect.

  3. Wow, your version looks amazing.I like your dish with a perfect balance of veggies and meat.I gonna try out this soon .Thanks for stopping by

  4. Hi Shu Han! Seriously I have to tell you you have answered my prayers. As a child my English mother made shepherd's pie all the time after she would roast a lamb leg. She would then grind the meat herself (already cooked to a yucky paste!) and then make a pie. To me it tasted awful! I have been saying now that I am all grown up and an official foodie, I should try a new version and here you are with your lovely masala spices! I am going to share your recipe on my hearth and soul hop highlights on friday because I never thought I would actually drool over a shepherd's pie recipe! Thanks for sharing on the hearth and soul hop! All the best, alex

  5. oh claudia! I'm sure your shepherd's pie would be fantastic too! believe it or not, I've never tried corned beef before.. it's just not sth you find on an asian dinner table. I would love to see how it's done!

    thanks tanvi and alex! I'm glad you can give shepherd's pie a second chance ;)

  6. That looks outrageously good! I'm going to try to run the gas line for my oven this weekend, and as soon as I have a working oven this will be at the top of my menu. This dish hits two of my favorite things -- Indian spices and mashed potatoes. Way to go!

  7. I did not know that the meat made a difference in whether or not it was shepherd's pie! I've been making "cottage" pie for years then! This is all relatively new to me as I had never eaten it until I met my husband. I absolutely love that you've used the Indian spices in this recipe. It must taste amazing! You have a very beautiful blog. I'm going to be visiting more often. Thanks! Candace

  8. thanks erik! I love all things spicy too haha, my sister and I are always on the lookout for indian food hahaha.

    thanks candace! hehe I never knew till recently too ;)

  9. This version looks great ... I'm Indian and I know what you mean about the spice levels :) Do stop by my space for some Indian recipes ... will be posting a lot more of them in the days to come!

  10. Hi Shu Han,
    Your Shepherd's Pie looks delicious. This is a real comfort dish and one that we will sure enjoy!Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and please come back!

  11. This looks great! I love spicy food!

  12. yum---what a great idea to use asian spices to give this great flavor. i would love a great big plate of this...my mouth is watering. thank you for sharing with tuesday night supper club!

  13. I am always looking for new ways to cook lamb, and this looks really delicious! Thanks!

  14. You've combined two of my favorites! Shepherd's Pie and Indian Food. I have to try this.

    Mama Kelly

  15. thank you! (: it's nice to see I'm not the only one into spicy food ;)

  16. Love your rendition of Shepard's Pie!

  17. Seems like this is one of your most popular recipes! It looks really appetising! And I welcome spices anytime!

  18. That looks amazing! Thanks for visiting and your kind comment.

  19. That looks delicious. Thanks for sharing it with me. I would love for you to share it with my blog linky called Tuesdays Tasty Tidbits. I am mobile and cant click back to get the link but it is the most current post. I love Indian flavors so, maybe I will try it.

  20. Ok I can testify that this is delicious! I made this for dinner tonight and my German husband loooved it! Very important is the parmesan and butter on top... do not be afraid of butter--I put a couple tablespoons on top. The potatoes were crispy, buttery, salty, and smooth; and the meat was filled with flavor and spice. I would actually use a couple more potatoes next time for more mash. A very creative approach to Shepherd's Pie. Marisa

  21. Fantastic spicy dish and so easy to cook. This will become a "once a week" meal for my family.
    Also it leaves a spicy fragance whafting though the house. Very wholesome dish and very filling.
    A must have!