We are usually in the California desert at this time of year enjoying summer like weather conditions and summer style cooking.
Covid-19 and American politics are keeping us in Canada for our first winter in a very long time. It’s not a bad thing. (Covid is a bad thing…but having to stay in Canada because of it is not a bad thing). In fact I am quite happy to be staying home in our new “western home” for the winter. We have a spectacular view of the British Columbia wilderness out our back windows. We will enjoy the coziness on the inside while enjoying the winter scenery on the outside. Along with that cozy “hibernation” comes the desire and craving for comfort food with a “warming” feel to it.
I made this “Indian” Shepherd’s Pie on a rainy foggy day and it was delicious. So I am going to share the recipe below. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. It’s healthy, wholesome, and delicious.
INDIAN SHEPHERD’S PIE
2 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes diced (I do not peel but you can)
1/4 cup plain full fat yogurt (I used 0% fat yogurt)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon Garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 tsp Chile powder
2 teaspoons ghee (clarified butter) or you can use regular butter
1 large cooking onion, diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 pound lean ground turkey or chicken
3/4 cups tomato sauce (I used tomato paste)
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 red Chile pepper, seeded and minced fine
1 cup frozen peas
Bring potatoes and salt to a boil in a medium pot. Cook until fork tender. Drain and return to pot. Add 1/2 tsp salt, yogurt, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp garam masala, 1/4 tsp cumin and 1/4 tsp Chile powder. Mash all together and set aside.
In a large and deep pan melt ghee or butter. Add the diced onion and sauté about 8 minutes. Add garlic and ginger mince and cook for another few minutes.
Add protein (turkey or chicken) and 1 tsp salt. Brown meat breaking up as you stir it. Once no longer pink, add tomato sauce and 1/4 cup water (or broth), cilantro, Chile pepper, remaining Garam masala, cumin, turmeric, Chile powder and blend well. Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Stir in peas and sauté another few minutes until peas are warm.
Transfer this meat and spice blend into an oiled 9 inch baking dish or casserole style dish, evenly spreading in the container. Spread mashed potatoes across the entire top. Flatten evenly. Sprinkle Chile powder over top lightly for colour.
Put in a preheated 375 degree oven. I bake the casserole under foil for the first 20 minutes with a cookie sheet under the dish to catch any drips. Remove foil and continue baking for another 10 minutes. You can broil the top for a few minutes if you desire. I did not and it turned out fine.
Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro as garnish.
You can freeze this casserole. To cook from freezer, leave foil on it and bake it for over 2 hours at 350. Or if you have thawed the casserole overnight then bake it for about 45 minutes.
I served this with a green salad on the side. It was delicious, nutritious and we got two dinners out of it. I have put this recipe in my “favourite” file.,
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.