Oriental Pie

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

A Taste of Dreams

A Taste of Dreams

By Josceline Dimbleby

Published 1976

  • About

I’m sure there is nothing like shepherd’s pie in India but this dish is a mixture of shepherd’s pie and Greek moussaka with an Indian flavour, which goes well with the slight sweetness of the swede topping.


  • 1 ¾ lb minced beef (800 g)
  • 3–4 teaspoons kabab paste or curry paste (these useful concoctions are sold in Indian grocers or delicatessens in jars)
  • or 2–3 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 1 teaspoon powdered cumin
  • ½ lb spinach leaves – chopped small (225 g)
  • 1 large swede, weighing 1–1½ lb – boiled and mashed with butter and black pepper (450–700 g)
  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • sesame seeds (optional)
  • salt, pepper


In a bowl mix the mince with the kabab paste or the curry powder, cumin, salt and two tablespoons tomato purée. Fry the mixture over a high heat in a little oil digging at it with a wooden spoon to keep it separate. Taste, add more paste or powder if you like things hot. If it tastes too hot add some lemon juice to it. Put the mixture in a large shallow ovenproof dish and pat down. Put the chopped spinach on the meat and pat down. Mix the mashed sweded with the beaten eggs and put on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and dot with butter. Put in a moderate oven Gas 3 (325°F/160°C) for about an hour until it is golden brown on top. Serve with a salad.