Spiced Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie with Cumin and Turmeric

A lighter vegan twist on a British classic, this spiced sweet potato shepherd's pie is a comforting dish perfect for a midweek dinner, and can be adapted for meat-eaters too, to accommodate the whole family.

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Introduction

The Good Stuff
Everyone can benefit from including nutritional lentils in their diet – they will give you slow, steady energy, and are also a quick-cooking and tasty plant-based protein.

Flex It
This works really well with meat, too, just cook some minced lamb and combine it with an equal measure of lentils before topping and baking.

Serves 6
Prep time: 35 min
Cook time: 50 min
Total time: 1 h 25 min

Ingredients

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
75ml (2½ fl oz) plant-based cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
500g (1lb 2oz) cooked brown lentils
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
400ml (14fl oz) vegetable stock
15g (½ oz) chopped coriander leaves
45g (1½ oz) panko breadcrumbs

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas 5). In a large saucepan, bring 1.5 litres (2½ pints) of water to the boil. Cook the potatoes for 15–20 minutes until tender. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a large mixing bowl. With a potato masher, mash the potatoes and plant-based cream until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan warm the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.

3. Add the lentils, cumin, garam masala, curry powder, and turmeric. Stir to combine and cook for 1–2 minutes to warm the spices. Add the stock and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped coriander.

4. Pour the lentil mixture evenly into a 23 × 30cm (9 x 12in) glass or ceramic baking dish. Top with the mashed sweet potato. Bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with the breadcrumbs and bake for another 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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