Perhaps it was part of the colonial legacy to khansamas who cooked many Indo Anglian dishes for us army brats as we criss crossed the continent from one station to another.
Perhaps it was a leftover favourite from my fathers days as one of the first Indian army gunner /aviators at the Air Observation Post training at Larkhill in the UK.
In any case it was always greeted with hungry delight.
Here is my version of Shepherds Pie or Gadariya ki Khichadi. Actually this is a mix of what we used to eat and a good Jamie Oliver version.
Ingredients for 4:
1 tbsp butter
100-150 ml milk
1 bunch of spinach, chop
1 tbsp olive oil
500 gms mutton mince
4 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
4 spring onions
1 simla mirch
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp mixed dried Italian seasoning( optional)
2 Maggi chicken cubes
1 1/2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
A handful of basil leaves, torn
1 handful of fresh brown breadcrumbs.
Wilt the chopped spinach over medium heat in a pan. Remove and mash a bit. Place in the bottom of a baking dish.
Boil the peeled and cubed potatoes. Mash with a knob of butter .Add milk and mash again till smooth.Add salt and pepper to taste.
Heat the olive oil and fry the garlic and onions till golden brown and soft. Add the mince and saute for a few minutes. Add the chopped spring onions and green peppers. Mix well and add the cumin and worcestershire sauce, seasoning and maggi cubes.Stir well. Now add the torn basil leaves. Turn heat low and cook covered for 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cover the spinach with the mince mix and top with the mashed potatoes. Smooth down with a fork. Sprinkle two handfuls of fresh breadcrumbs on top and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
This tastes so good and even better next day.
(No photo right now as we ate it up before I had time to take a shot.) P.S Photo added.