Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie


Pie Base:

  • 1 1/4 cups brown lentils (soak in water for a couple of hours first to increase digestibility)
  • 2 litres water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon yellow asafoetida powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup celery, chopped fine
  • 1 large carrot, chopped fine
  • 300 grams firm tofu
  • 5 tablespoons good quality tamari or soy sauce

For potato topping:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 large baking potatoes, peeled and chopped small
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • Boil the brown lentils and water in a heavy saucepan. Reduce to a simmer and cook until they become soft.
  • Strain & put aside

Meanwhile, boil the potato cubes in slightly salted water until they become soft. Drain and mash them until smooth. Add the butter, milk, salt, and sour cream and mix well.

Heat the olive oil in a small, heavy pan until very hot. Add the asafoetida and pepper and saute momentarily. Add the carrot and celery bits and stir well; reduce the heat and braise the carrot and celery until soft, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.

Mash the drained lentils.

Crumble the tofu in a bowl and add the soy sauce. Mix well. Combine this mixture with the mashed lentils and the braised seasoned carrot and celery bits.

Spread this pie filling evenly in the bottom of an ovenproof casserole dish. Cover this with the mashed potatoes. Smooth the mashed potatoes and use a fork to mark the top with lines.

Bake in a very hot oven 230°C until the top is browned. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with fresh parsley, and serve hot.

Serves 6-8