The other day, I decided that I did not want to go to the store, so I scrounged around to see what I had on hand. There was a pound of lean ground beef that I had purchased, meaning to make Korean burgers. A day later, this did not appeal to me. I also had some spinach and potatoes, along with my various spices. I decided that I would experiment and make an Indian version of shepherd's pie. I liked the result. My Hen was not as thrilled. I cheated and used instant mashed potatoes, and used too much water. The result was soupy.
Begin by boiling the potatoes, for mashing. I am constantly making the
mistake of not letting the potatoes boil long enough. Do not do this. You can't
mash a hard potato. Let the potatoes boil a bit before you begin to prepare the
rest of the food. Once the potatoes have been mashed, set them aside. In a
skillet heated on medium heat, add some oil. I used vegetable oil. I should
have used ghee; but alas, I could not find it. Olive oil can also be used. Once
the oil is hot, add a chopped onion, some minced garlic, and your spices. I
used cumin, turmeric and garam masala. I like a lot of spice. Using a spatula,
mix the spices with the onion and garlic. Then, add the lean ground beef. You
can also use beef or lamb cubes. Once the meat has been browned, add the
spinach. Okra would also be nice. Add the mashed potatoes to the skillet, and
mix well. Add spices as needed and desired. I try not to use a lot of salt;
but, many will want to add sea salt. If you feel the need for pepper, you can
add that...but I like to let the other spices speak for themselves. You may
also want to put the meat mixture in a casserole dish, and top with the mashed
potatoes, making for a more traditional look.
The above is not the exact recipe I used; but, represents the
improvements I will make the next time. I should have made real mashed
potatoes. I mixed some tandoori masala
into the meat, and was less than thrilled with the result.
You can be as simple, or as complicated as you want with this dish. I chose simple. You can add yogurt, ginger, celery, tomatoes, lentils...the list goes on. Also, other spices and herbs can be added, such as paprika, basil, oregano or thyme. Cheese can also be added. This is a great recipe for using those odds and ends you have in the refrigerator.
I think you will enjoy this Indian touch to a much enjoyed dish. Namaste!