Luscious Spiced Cottage Pie

Post: Of Cottages and Shepherds

From: Indian Vegetarian Feast, 2013
Ingredients:
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 black cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 20g root ginger (peeled weight), 10g of it sliced into fine julienne
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée, or to taste
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • ¼-½ tsp chilli powder, or to taste
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 350g Quorn, or other vegetarian mince (or try lamb, chicken, Puy lentils or a mix of lentils and beans)
  • 2 small handfuls of frozen peas
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • Large handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • For the topping
  • 600g floury potatoes, peeled and cut in large pieces
  • 60g unsalted butter, plus more to cook (optional)
  • 65-80ml whole milk
  • 50-60g cheddar cheese
Method:
  1. Heat the vegetable oil and add the onion, cardamom pods and bay leaves. Cook until the onion starts to colour at the edges. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Using a stick blender, blend the chunk of ginger and the garlic with a little water until smooth. Separately blend the tomatoes until smooth. Add the ginger and garlic paste to the onion and cook gently.
  2. Once the garlic has started to colour, add the tomatoes, tomato purée and the remaining spices and seasoning. Cook over a medium-high flame, stirring occasionally, until the masala (or mix) has thickened, looks like a tomato paste and releases oil back into the pan. The taste should be harmonious with no sharp notes.
  3. Add the mince and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, making sure you have added a good pinch of black pepper, and add lemon juice if it needs it. Stir in the chopped coriander and turn off the heat. Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil and cook until just tender to the point of a knife. Drain well and allow them to dry off in the pan for a minute.
  4. Using a potato ricer or masher, mash well, add the butter, milk and cheese and mash and stir until amalgamated; I like mine a little lumpy. Season to taste, adding lots of black pepper. Spoon the mince evenly into an ovenproof, table-ready dish. Pipe or spoon on the mash to cover, decorate as you like (not at all, or with the tines of a fork).
  5. If you like a golden finish, dot the surface all over with small cubes of butter. Place in the middle of the oven, and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden.

Enjoy! This recipe is from the wonderful Anjun Anand’s Indian Vegetarian Feast, 2013. I generally use lentils and have even been known to mix kumara and floury potatoes for the mash, and I ALWAYS use more cheese than suggested.


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