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Monday, March 10, 2014

Almost Vegetarian Shepherd Pie

Feeling depressed after hearing about the disappeared Malaysian airlines , an airline I have travelled quite often , my prayers  and thoughts  goes out to all the loved ones waiting for the news.
 I never liked flying , even when travelling at night I stay awake and refuse to sleep, now I am terrified just thinking of getting into one.

Since I am feeling depressed thought of  posting a comforting meal .
This vegetarian pie , well almost vegetarian as I have used beef stock while cooking the lentils and sneaked in a little local dried fish flakes just to please my hubby who gets a bit fussy when he finds out that its completely vegetarian without a single meat or fish insight. Its also a great recipe for kids packed with loads of vegetables. Both boys loved it.

Recipe : Almost Vegetarian Shepherd Pie , recipe adapted from Delia Smith's Vegetarian Shepherd Pie 

1/2 cup brown lentils
1 medium carrot , peeled and finely chopped grated.
1 celery stick (optional) finely chopped
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 a green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small zucchini , finely chopped or grated
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1/4- 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 bay leaves
2 tsp tomato paste
1 can chopped or whole peeled tomatoes
1/2 can of water
1 beef stock cube ( use vegetable stock if you want to go complete vegetarian
handful fresh parsley chopped ( optional)
salt and pepper
olive oil
(Optional : 1 tbsp dried tuna ground or 1-2 tsp masmirus)

Topping : 500-600g potatoes
               3-4 tbsp butter, softened
               1/3 cup milk
               handful of chedder cheese, grated

1. Cook you lentils in water till cooked through. Drain , set aside. Boil the potatoes  in lightly salted water till cooked through, mash or push through a ricer., set a side.
my little sous chef helps me with the potato mashing
2.  Heat a large frying pan  over a medium heat, add about 2 tbsp olive oil , and soften onion, carrot and celery till  translucent. Add garlic, bell pepper, zucchini, dried herbs, chilli flakes, bay leaves and the cooked lentils.
Cook for 1 minute.

3. Stir in tomato paste and can of tomatoes, breaking up the tomatoes  alittle. Fill the empty can of tomatoes with  water till it comes to half the can and swirl in the contents into the pan. Break the beef stock cube into the pan and give a good stir and add pinch of sugar. Bring to a boil then simmer covered till the sauce is thick and slightly reduced. Taste, add salt and pepper, and, if available, finely chopped parsley. (If you are a Maldivian and want to get that local taste add the dried tuna or masmirus.)

4. Make the topping by mixing milk into the warm mashed potatoes, along with butter  till you get a nice creamy mash.( you might need to add a little more milk, if necessary). Add cheese and give a little taste and add salt.

5.  You can use a gratin  dish or a oven proof dish that has a   08   cup capacity.   or you can use individual ramekins. Spoon the lentil mixture into the dish. Pile the potato mash on top and smooth it out with the back of a metal spoon. Add a few peaks with the spoon or use a fork and run it over the potato mix to give a nice design effect.

6. Pop into a preheated oven of gas mark 5  , and bake the pie till  the sauce is bubbling and the top is lightly golden.  Serve with a nice green salad.

a big favorite with the kids, great way to sneak in veges to fussy eaters


  1. i know how terrified everybody is regarding the missing flight... may Allah give strength to people who have lost their family the strength to bear their loss... this looks really yum, so good to see ur little one help out...

  2. You have got a super sous chef in the kitchen, Joyce.
    The shepherd pie looks mouthwatering!

  3. lovely pie and good to see little one helping.

  4. mouthwatering pie..looks very tempting

  5. Delicious pie........ Love it!!

  6. ,looks great was just thinking about shepherds pie today and I am with you on flying its awful praying for the families, loving to see your wee guy in the kitchen

  7. Always think of preparing pie.but never tried ..this is really inviting dish.

  8. The pie looks cute the picture of your little helper...
    Have a great week Nammi :D


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