I was overjoyed when Kathleen commented on my post on Crispy Cauliflower ! We knew each other through work since 1998, and after many assignment changes, we have lost touch over the years. I reached out and suggested we meet on a video conference. The wonders of technology has collapsed the years of time and distance apart like magic, and I was talking to her as if we just spoke yesterday.
We caught up on the latest happenings at work and at home quickly, and of course we have to talk about my latest experiments in the kitchen. I told her I needed to prepare a Fusion Shepherd’s pie for the next gourmet club meet. I tried to substitute the standard beef filling with butter chicken and hasn’t quite perfected the recipe. Kathleen told me about an awesome Vegan Shepherds pie recipe from the 101 cookbooks  that she loves. I tried it last weekend, tweaking the recipe by adding a little chilli powder and coconut milk to the filling. It is very tasty indeed! Next time, I am going to combine the vegan filling with butter chicken. It will be a hit!
- 1/2 lb russet potatoes and 1 lb sweet potatoes
- 2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1/4 tsp sea salt, adjust to taste
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 8 oz mushrooms, chopped
- 1 cup diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp coconut milk
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1/8 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 cup split peas
- 1 cup fresh peas
- Microgreen for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375F with a rack in the center.
- Wash and drain split peas. Boil split peas with 4 cups water in a medium sauce pan until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water. Set aside.
- Cut potatoes into even size cubes. Place the potatoes/sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with water. Add 2 tsp salt and bring to a boil for about ten minutes, or until tender. Drain, and return to saucepan over heat for a minute. Add the coconut milk, and 1/4 tsp salt, and mash together. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the coconut oil with the onion, and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté for a few minutes, until onions are translucent, add the minced garlic, fry for another minute, then turn the heat up and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring every couple of minutes, until the mushrooms release their water, and start to brown. Add the diced tomatoes, peas, garam marsala, and chilli powder. Stir fry for two minutes, then add the cooked split peas and coconut milk. Cook for another minute or two, taste, and adjust with more garam masala or salt if needed.
- Transfer the mushroom mixture to a 8-inch baking dish (or equivalent), spreading it across in a somewhat even layer. Dollop the potatoes across the top, smooth with a spatula. Run the tines of a fork across the top to create patterns.
- Bake for 25 minutes, and finish under a broiler on high to brown the edges and tips.
- Garnish with microgreen.