Shepherds Pie Indian Style | thehealthyfoodie.com

This is not your typical Shepherd’s Pie, people… This, I think, is candy pretending to be Shepherd’s Pie.

It’s sweet, it’s warm and buttery and it’s oh so comforting. We’re talking creamy ground beef and pan-fried tidbits of ripe plantain, brought together by a velvety smooth layer of spiced sweet potato and butternut squash puree.

Oh yeah! It tastes just like paradise, I tell you!

If you have not yet tried the combination of plantain and beef together, trust me, you really have to. I was highly skeptical too, the first time I got to taste it, but I was immediately sold. It’s got to be one of the most delicious flavor combos I’ve ever tasted. And binding the two of them together with a deliciously spiced squash and sweet potato puree was sheer brilliance, me thinks.

I’m telling you, this is the kind of dish that you’ll just want to keep eating forever. It will also bring a particularly sparkling start to your day; try it for breakfast, you’ll see exactly what I mean.

There’s just no way your day could go wrong after it’s had such an amazing opening…   

Shepherds Pie Indian Style | thehealthyfoodie.com

As usual, when we know that we’ll be using the oven, we’ll start by preheating the beast. So go ahead and set that knob right on the 375°F mark. (or 190°C, depending on what kind of beast you own and what part of the world you adopted it from…)

Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the guts and seeds with a spoon; wash the sweet potatoes and cut them in half lengthwise. Place the vegetables in a broiler pan and drizzle their flesh with melted coconut oil, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

Turn the squash and potatoes flesh side down and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven for about 40-45 minutes, until the vegetables become really soft and can easily be pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.

Oh, and I chose to use purple skin, white fleshed sweet potatoes, but if you couldn’t get your hands on those, I suppose you could very well use any other variety. Well, except maybe for the purple fleshed ones; they may look kind of odd next to the orange color of the squash…

Shepherds Pie Indian Style | thehealthyfoodie.com

While the squash and potatoes are baking, melt 3 to 4 tablespoons of coconut oil in a heavy skillet set over medium-high heat.

When the oil is hot enough, add the plantain and cook it, tossing it gently from time to time, until it becomes golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes total.

Remove the plantain to a plate and sprinkle with salt.

Shepherds Pie Indian Style | thehealthyfoodie.com

Put the skillet back over the heat source, add about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil then throw in the onion; cook until soft and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes, then crank up the heat to high and add the ground beef.

Break the meat into little pieces with a wooden spoon and sprinkle with the salt. Cook until the beef is no longer pink, and then add the coconut water.

Continue cooking until the coconut water is completely evaporated and the beef turns dark brown and starts to become crispy, which should take about 12 to 15 minutes.

Shepherds Pie Indian Style | thehealthyfoodie.com

See all the beautiful brown bits in the above picture? That’s what you’re looking for!

When your beef gets all beautiful and crispy and golden brown, you’ll want to lower the heat and add some coconut milk, garam masala, black pepper, cayenne pepper and crushed pili-pili (or chili pepper flakes, if you didn’t have the exotic and somewhat hard to find pili-pili peppers on hand).

Mix well and continue cooking until the meat mixture is well combined and becomes all creamy, about one minute.

Shepherds Pie Indian Style | thehealthyfoodie.com

Now transfer that creamy meat mixture to a baking dish and then top with the reserved fried plantain. Set that aside for now…

Let’s check on our squash and potatoes.

Shepherds Pie Indian Style | thehealthyfoodie.com

When they are done baking, remove the butternut squash and sweet potatoes from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes, until you can safely handle them with your bare fingers.

See how their flesh started to caramelize a little bit? Oh yeah, that’s yummy flavor for ya!

Shepherds Pie Indian Style | thehealthyfoodie.com

Scoop out the flesh of the butternut squash with a spoon and peel the sweet potatoes by gently pulling on the skin with your fingers; It should come right off.

Shepherds Pie Indian Style | thehealthyfoodie.com

Place the flesh of the squash and potatoes in the bowl of your food processor, along with the coconut milk, ghee, garam masala, salt and pepper.

Process until it all gets reduced to a smooth puree; now there’s a very good chance that you will have to stop the motor and scrape the sides once or twice…

Shepherds Pie Indian Style | thehealthyfoodie.com

Mound this delicious puree on top of the plantains and then spread it evenly all the way to the sides of the dish.

Shepherds Pie Indian Style | thehealthyfoodie.com

Make all kinds of cute little whirls with your spatula and place your Shepherd’s Pie in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top starts to turn golden brown.

If you wanted to get an even deeper golden coloration, you could drizzle a little bit of melted coconut oil over the top and place the dish under the broiler for a few minutes after it’s done baking.

Shepherds Pie Indian Style | thehealthyfoodie.com

Now you’re almost ready to serve… only you’ll want to let your Shepherd’s Pie rest and cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. If you were to serve it just as soon as it came out of the oven, it would be way too hot, you wouldn’t even be able to appreciate its delicious flavors.

And you’d run the risk of burning your tongue, too. Now I wouldn’t want to be responsible for that!

I know, I know, it probably smells crazy good by now and you just can’t wait, but really, you should. Go set the table… keep yourself occupied!

Shepherds Pie Indian Style | thehealthyfoodie.com

And finally, here we are!

Once your dish has been given the chance to cool for a little bit, garnish it with toasted coconut flakes if you so desire (and really, I strongly suggest that you so desire!) and serve!

Now close your eyes, take a deep breath and enjoy that first bite… and that second… and third. You know what? I won’t even bother talking anymore… I know I’ve already lost you.

Just please, come back and see me when you return from paradise to let me know what you think of the dish!

Shepherd’s Pie with an Indian Twist

Servings: 6

Ingredients

The Creamy Meat Layer

The Middle Layer (Sweet Pan-Fried Plantain Tidbits)

The Top Layer (Squash & Potato Puree)

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 2 medium purple skin white flesh sweet potatoes
  • 3-4 tbsp coconut oil
  • Generous sprinkle of Himalayan salt and pepper
  • Generous sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp ghee, melted
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375F
  • Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the guts and seeds with a spoon; wash the potatoes and cut them in half lengthwise. Place the vegetables in a broiler pan and drizzle their flesh with the melted coconut oil, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Turn the squash and potatoes flesh side down and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven for about 40-45 minutes, until the vegetables become really soft and can easily be pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.
  • Meanwhile, melt 3 to 4 tablespoons of coconut oil in a heavy skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the plantain and cook, tossing gently from time to time, until the plantain becomes golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes total. Remove the plantain to a plate and sprinkle with salt.
  • Put the skillet back over the heat source, add about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil then throw in the onion; cook until softened and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes, then crank up the heat to high and add the ground beef. Break the meat into little pieces with a wooden spoon and sprinkle with the salt. Cook until the beef is no longer pink, and then add the coconut water. Continue cooking until the coconut water completely evaporates and the beef turns dark brown and starts to become crispy, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  • When the beef is cooked to your liking, lower the heat and add the coconut milk, garam masala, black pepper, cayenne pepper and crushed pili-pili (or chili pepper flakes). Mix well and continue cooking until the mixture is well combined and creamy, about 1 minute.
  • Transfer the meat to a baking dish and then top with the reserved plantain. Set aside.
  • When they are done baking, remove the butternut squash and sweet potatoes from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes, until you can safely handle them with your bare fingers. Scoop out the flesh of the butternut squash with a spoon and peel the sweet potatoes by gently pulling on the skin with your fingers; It should come right off.
  • Place the squash and potato flesh in the bowl of your food processor, along with the coconut milk, ghee, garam masala, salt and pepper. Process until reduced to a smooth puree; you may have to stop the motor and scrape the sides a few times.
  • Mound this puree on top of the plantains and spread it evenly all the way to the sides of the dish.
  • Bake in a 375F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top starts to turn golden. For an even deeper golden coloration, drizzle a little bit of melted coconut oil over the top and place the dish under the broiler for a few minutes.
  • Allow your Shepherd’s Pie to rest and cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with toasted coconut flakes if desired.
Author: Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

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Shepherds Pie Indian Style | thehealthyfoodie.com

Shepherds Pie Indian Style | thehealthyfoodie.com

Shepherds Pie Indian Style | thehealthyfoodie.com

Shepherds Pie Indian Style | thehealthyfoodie.com