Spicy Sheperd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash

An old English classic – the Sheperd’s Pie is one of my favourite dishes. I have re-invented it in many different ways, but the latest one is the one I like most. I used cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes and the result was very good. The mash was so smooth and creamy and tasted sublime.

I used plenty of mushrooms and soy chunks (Textured Vegetable Protein) for the base with spices to make it really flavourful. I added some frozen peas as well. You could use any vegetables you like.

Don’t skimp on the butter while making the mash. I also added some fresh cream and cheddar cheese. You could make this dish vegan by using vegan butter and coconut cream instead of fresh cream.

The aroma of the ground fresh coriander with the spices filled the entire kitchen. Really lovely!

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PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 1 hour

Ingredients

11/2 cups soy chunks

200 gms button mushrooms, sliced

1 cup frozen peas

2 large onions, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp cumin seeds

3 cloves

5 green chillis

2 cardamoms

½ tsp black pepper

2 cups fresh coriander, chopped

2 pieces cinnamon

1 tbsp coriander seeds

Salt to taste

4 tbsp vegetable oil

For the cauliflower mash

1 large cauliflower, cut into florets

½ cup butter

2 tbsp fresh cream

1 cup cheddar/Parmesan cheese, grated

½ tsp turmeric powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Butter a baking dish and preheat the oven to 180 C.

Rehydrate the soy meat in plenty of salted hot water. Leave for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, steam the cauliflower florets until they are very tender. Process with the butter in short bursts, using a food processor. The mash should be smooth and creamy. Add the fresh cream, cheese, turmeric, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Drain and squeeze the water from the soy meat. Blitz in the food processor until it is a coarse meal. Do not make it into a paste and don’t add any water. Set aside.

Grind the cumin, cloves, chillis, cardamom, pepper, fresh coriander, cinnamon and coriander seeds in a blender with a little water to a fine paste.

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onions. Sautè until they are cooked and add the ground spices. Cook with 2 tablespoons of water for a few minutes and add the tomatoes with the salt and turmeric. After a few minutes, add the mushrooms and sautè for about 5 minutes. Add the ground soy meat and cook adding a few tablespoons of water until the mushrooms and the soy are tender. Add the frozen peas and mix well. When the peas are tender (this will only take a few minutes), remove the pan from the heat.

Spoon the spiced soy and mushroom mixture into the buttered dish and spread evenly. Spoon the cauliflower mash on top and use a fork to mark the top. Bake for about 30 minutes.

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