Kerala Shepard’s Pie

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Credit: K.N. Vinod, Chef/Owner, Indique, Washington D.C.
National Culinary Review, January/February 2024

From the Chef

“Kerala shepherd’s pie involves two steps: 1) making a Kerala-style lamb coconut fry and 2) making a potato dish with shallots and then assembling them together and finishing off the dish in the oven until the potato crust is golden brown. Serve with mint chutney or any sauce of your liking.”


For the lamb:
1.6 pound Aussie lamb leg, trimmed
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 cup sliced shallots
2 ounces sliced garlic
2 ounces minced ginger
1 cinnamon stick
5 cardamom sticks
3 cloves
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon coriander powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt, to taste

For the spiced oil:
4 ounces coconut oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
2 cups sliced shallots
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
Salt, to taste

For the potato crust:
1.5 pound peeled, boiled, mashed russet or gold potatoes
3 ounces coconut oil
2 cups sliced shallots
1 teaspoon mustard seeds


1. Cut the meat off the leg of lam, and cut boneless pieces of lamb into thin strips. Place meat in a bowl and add fennel seeds, shallots, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Mix well and cook with sufficient water to cover the lamb and cook until meat is cooked through, about 30 to 35 minutes. You can also use a pressure cooker to reduce the cooking time.
2. Preheat the oven to 400?F.
3. Heat coconut oil in a saute pan and add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds crackle, add curry leaves and shallots until shallots are browned. Add red chili and add the mashed potatoes and mix well. Set aside.
4. Place the cooked lamb in a baking dish and top with the potato mixture. Bake until the potatoes are browned, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm with mint chutney or any chutney of your choice.


Makes 12 (4 ounce) servings


Lamb, Main Dish, The National Culinary Review

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