Indian Vegan Shepherd Pie

Hello fellow Silk Road foodies! I have not forgotten you. I have been side tracked with so many other endeavors…. like writing two books after Silk Road Vegetarian.

Today, on this cold blustery day, I made an Indian inspired vegan Shepherd pie. Now, you know one of the things I love to do is to create cohesiveness within disparate entities….. such as the English minced meat pie and veganism and spices.

When I was 17yrs old I moved to London and studied at university there. It was my first introduction to the ubiquitous shepherd pie. Back then, I was not vegetarian so had the typical minced meat pie cooked with gravy and baked in a mash of potatoes.

Flash forward to 2019, I turned this dish in a vegan spiced lentil & mushroom mash up. You can use sweet potatoes if you have that on hand, as it gives a sweeter twist.

Indian vegan shepherd pie


1 1/2 pounds potatoes or sweet potatoes

2/3 cup coconut milk or unsweetened rice/cashew/almond milk

sea salt, to taste

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces mushrooms, chopped

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon cumin powder

2 cups cooked lentils

1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)


  1. Preheat oven to 375F with a rack in the center.
  2. Place the potatoes/sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with water, add salt, and bring to a boil for about ten minutes, or until tender. Drain, and return to saucepan over heat for a minute or so to dry out a bit. Add the coconut milk, and the salt, and mash together. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the coconut oil with the onion and garlic, and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté for a few minutes, until onions are translucent, and then turn the heat up and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring every couple of minutes, until the mushrooms release their water, and start to brown. Add the tomatoes and spices. Stir well, then add the cooked split peas and lentils. Cook for another minute or two, taste, and adjust with more salt if needed.
  4. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a 8-inch baking dish (or equivalent), spreading it across in a somewhat even layer. Dollop the potatoes across the top, and gently push them around until they cover the entire top of the casserole, run the tines of a fork across the top if you like a bit of texture.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, and finish under a broiler to add a bit of extra color and texture to the top.