Shepherd’s Pie with Garam Masala

IMG_2316You know what you should do this weekend? You should totes make Shepherd’s Pie and then freeze it in individual portions (see above – I know that frozen condensation is so appetizing) and then have it for the rest of the week for dinner. You will thank your past self when Monday comes and your realize you have NO resolve to cook anything and yet don’t want to spend money on eating out. Yeah, you know what I’m sayin’.

This time I took pictures of the process. Enjoy!

IMG_2269Mash bit.

IMG_2270Ground meat and onions bit.

IMG_2271Ground meat and onions post masala inclusion.

IMG_2273AND done.

Mashed potato topping
800 gm potatoes
3/4 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg

Minced lamb bottom layer
2 tablespoons canola/vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste
600 gm ground lamb
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsps meat curry powder*
1 Tbsp chili powder*
1/2 Tbsp jeera/cumin powder*
1/4 Tbsp garam masala*
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup frozen peas

Clean the potatoes and cut into four pieces. Boil until tender and remove skin.

While the potatoes are still hot put the butter in it so it melts, add the whipping cream, salt and pepper and mash until smooth. Stir in egg until well combined (Confession: I didn’t realize it was supposed to be just the egg yolk until I started typing up this post)

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.

Put the canola oil in a pan over medium high heat. Once the oil simmers, add the onion and brown. Add the ginger-garlic and stir to combine. Add the lamb, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes.

Add the spices: meat curry powder, chili powder, jeera powder and garam masala and cook for like a minute.

Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste and chicken broth and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.

Add the peas to the lamb mixture and cook for another minute.

I spread the lamb mixture evenly into an 8 by 8 baking dish – you should choose a bigger one because mine totally spilled over and made everything greasetastic.

Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula.

Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown.

Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

*This amount can be doubled for a spicier pie.
**Adapted from Alton Brown’s Shepherd’s Pie.

Chicken Tikka! (Kind of)

chicken tikka
My Mom refers to this as her chicken tandoori recipe – I made it for friends during a recent boardgame night and it was deemed chicken tikka.

Whatever it actually is is irrelevant because it’s yummy, tastes like home (well my home at least) and is fairly easy to make. So easy that I make it practically every week and eat it for two nights in a row. What can I say, it’s easy to scale down for smaller portions and I’m unimaginative like that.

You want to be like me too and do this. Don’t lie.

2 chicken thighs (boneless and cut)/ 10 chicken wings (cut into two – wing and drummet separated)
2 Tbsps ginger-garlic paste
1 1/2 Tbsps chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin/jeera powder
1/2 Tbsp garam masala
1 1/2 tsps salt
1/2 cup lime juice
4 Tbsps yogurt
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

Clean the chicken and place in a bowl. Mix all ingredients in with the chicken until evenly distributed.

Place in a container and let it marinate for 3 hours/overnight in the refrigerator.

When you’re ready to cook it, prep by taking the grill bit out of your oven, you can cover it with foil and slit it so that the marinade juices can run through and your chicken doesn’t DROWN in it’s juices and become a soggy mess.

I suggest you put some foil on the tray at the bottom of the oven so that your oven doesn’t become a masala mess.

After that preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Put the chicken on the grill in the oven for 30 minutes, after 30 minutes flip it and bake for another 10.


*You should check if it’s done by cutting into it. I’m not really clear on baking times to be honest.
** This is a Diniblini’s Mom’s TM Recipe 🙂

Garam Masala Hummus

So this weekend I discovered a bag of chickpeas in my food cupboard and I was like yeahhhh. So I soaked it for eight hours, boiled it for 2 and then had an ENTIRE pot of chickpeas that I didn’t know what to do with. So I made hummus.

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2 cans of chickpeas (Approximately. I’m possibly lying.)
Juice of 3 lemons
4 minced garlic cloves
1/3 cup tahini
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil ( I have no idea how much I actually used because I kept adding when the mixture wouldn’t mix)
1 tsp homemade garam masala (from my MOM)

Blend chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini and salt in a food processor until it gets as smooth as possible.

Add olive oil and garam masala and blend it till its smoother.

Serve with cut up veggies, pita bread or on a spoon. Or an egg. Because that’s what I had for lunch on Tuesday. And it was GOOD.

*I adapted this from The Minimalist Baker. Great blog.