Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Keema Shepherd's Pie

Keema Shepherd's Pie
Two great things happened this week. I got sent two wonderful little parcels (well three actually, but I'll save that one for another day...) The lovely folk at Booths invited me to be part of Booth's Cheers India and gave me a goodie bag to boot, then the makers of Mermaid Cookware sent me a wonderful pie dish to try out. Are you thinking what I am...? Spicy pie alert!

Booths Cheers GoodiesThis is a dish I have made several times before, but wanted to test the quality of the ingredients in the Spice Tailor kits I was sent. This is a new range of quick 'make at home' curries from Indian cookery goddess Anjum Anand. To test the simplicity, I actually made this when I got in from work tonight. I've also had time to eat some and write this post... not bad for a mere mortal!

The recipe is really easy and tastes delicious! The smell wafting round our house at the moment is unbelievable! This is a bit of a twist on a family classic, and isn't too spicy either. The Spice Tailor kits are a far cry from jarred sauces; they come with separate bits and bobs for different times in the cooking process. I can genuinely say hand on heart that they are of excellent quality, which shows in your finished product. People will think you have cooked from scratch. I won't tell if you don't!

I popped the lot in my heavy duty 23cm pie dish which was perfect for the job. This is big enough to serve about three hungry people or two greedy so-and-sos. The dish didn't warp in the oven and was cool enough to handle without the fear of third degree burns a couple of minutes after coming out from under the grill. Always handy when you're likely to forget 'that's hot' like I often do... I'm definitely buying more from this nifty range.

So if you fancy having a go at this spicy bad boy, here's what to do:


  • 500g lean lamb mince
  • 1 medium onion - chopped
  • 1 Spice Tailor pack in your preferred flavour - I used original tikka masala
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 100ml cold water
  • 100g frozen or fresh garden peas
  • 450g cooked carrot and swede mash - either home made or shop bought
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds


  1. Heat a large casserole type pan on the hob to a medium heat.
  2. Dry fry your lamb mince until only just browned. Drain and put to one side.
  3. Using the little bit of oil in the pan, add the chopped onion and cook on a low heat for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the spice mix from the Spice Tailor kit and cook until the onions are soft.
  5. Add the mince and the concentrated cooking sauce from the Spice Tailor pack. Cook on a medium heat for around 3 minutes before adding the main sauce (also from the pack).
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes and 100ml of cold water.
  7. TIP: if you don't have a Spice Tailor kit, 4 tbsp of good quality balti paste plus and extra 200ml of water will work too.
  8. Simmer on a low heat until all the visible 'wet' liquid has thickened. You're looking for a rich sauce covering the mince.
  9. Stir in the peas about 2 minutes before the mix looks ready.
  10. Meanwhile mix 1 tsp of coriander seeds with the mash, ready for topping the pie.
  11. Pour into an ovenproof dish and top with the mash. You don't want a really thick layer - just a smattering!
  12. Cook on gas 4/180 C for 15 minutes.
  13. I finish mine off under the grill to get nice crispy bits of mash.

I like this on its own, but it's also nice served with mini naan breads.

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