Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Shepherd's pie

Shepherd's pie, also known as cottage pie has many versions on the net. The version that seems the most original, is a bit bland for our Pakistani taste. So here is my version. All spices can be adjusted to taste, but if gets too spicy, it would be a very desi shepherd's pie. Cheese sprinkled on top may be completely omitted or increased/ decreased as required. I added cheese because I love cheese.



2 tbsp oil
1 small onion diced
250 gm Minced meat
3-4 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup peas
1/2 tsp garlic paste
Salt, to taste
Red chilli powder, to taste
A pinch turmeric powder
Milk, as required (around 1 cup)
3-4 potatoes
200 gm Cheddar cheese, shredded

Heat oil in a saucepan. Add onion and stir until it changes color. Add mince meat and stir until mince changes its color. Add tomatoes, peas, garlic, salt, red chili powder and turmeric powder. Mix and reduce heat. Tomatoes will release water, but if you feel the need add a little water. Cover and let cook. Every 15 - 20 minutes, add 2 - 3 tbsp milk. Let the mince meat cook for 1 hr or so. The mixture should look a bit creamy. If using immediately, add 2 tbsp of shredded cheddar cheese to the mince meat mixture.

In another pan, boil potatoes until soft. Peel and mash potatoes thoroughly. Add some milk and 2 - 3 tbsp of cheddar cheese to potatoes while mashing. The mixture should have a spreadable consistency. Season as per taste.

Preheat oven at 180 C/ 375 F. Lightly grease a baking dish. Put the mince meat mixture and spread in the dish. Spread potato mixture over the mince meat with a knife or spatula. Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese (you can reduce the amount if it seems too much). Put in oven and bake until cheese is melted. Grill it if you want cheese to be browned.

Enjoy warm with tomato ketchup.

Happy Baking!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Back again with yet another sweet recipe. Please don't blame your weight gains on me. After reading a lot about blondies, I decided to try them the other day.

Blondies are the white version of brownies. Made with lots of white chocolate, this soft, dense, fudge cake kind of delicacy will be an absolute hit, specially with those people who do not like the brown color of chocolate and hence have an aversion towards brownies (weird, right? How can anyone just NOT like chocolate?)

The recipe I found also included chocolate chips, which I did not use. So this is my adaptation without a trace of chocolate. I will try adding almonds or walnuts next time I make blondies.



240 gm white chocolate (broken into pieces)
1/2 cup butter (at room temperature)
2 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
a pinch of vanilla powder
1 1/4 cup sifted flour
3/4 tsp salt

Boil water in a saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer. Place a heatproof bowl over simmering water; the water should not touch the bowl. Put white chocolate and butter in the bowl and melt, stirring occasionally until completely melted. Remove bowl as soon as melted.

Preheat oven at 180 C/ 350 F.

In another bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Keeping the mixer on, add sugar gradually and beat to mix. Drizzle in the melted white chocolate. Mix flour and salt. Fold in the egg mixture with a light hand. If using chocolate chips, fold them in at this point.

Pour mixture in a greased baking pan (9 inch square pan or equivalent). Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Tasty when served warm, tastier when allowed to rest overnight.

Happy Baking !!!