A lot of PP recipes popular in my Aaji’s time were influenced by western cooking techniques. This indianised version of the shepherd’s pie using local ingredients is one such example.
Karandicha Pie was usually the treat that awaited me when I visited Parlyachi Aaji (my naani) right after school (which was a 10 min walk from her place). I often make mine as a convenient non fried starter.
Aaji’s version was made in an old gas top oven – which looked somewhat like this – the pic is courtesy a friend (Asmita Rane) who is the lucky owner of one such heirloom!
I make mine in a conventional OTG…
Potatoes – 4 medium (boil, peel and mash – dry out any excess moisture)
Red Onions – 3 large chopped fine
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Parbhi Sambhar – 1 tsp (alternately use a tsp of garam masala powder)
Hing – 1 pinch
Jeera – 1/2 tsp for tadka and 1/2 tsp roasted and mixed in mash
Prawns (or karandi I.e tiny shrimp if you’re fond of it like me) – 1 cup shelled and deveined
In case you’re wondering- this is what karandi or baby shrimp looks like –
Egg – 1 yolk
Oil – 2-3 tbsp
Salt to taste
For the filling –
Heat oil in a nonstick kadai, add a pinch of Hing and half a tsp of jeera wait till they splutter and add the chopped onions with a pinch of salt and sauté till translucent.
Add turmeric, red chilli powder and PP sambhar powder.
Add boiled peas and chopped prawns and cook on a high flame. Dry out completely so that there’s no excess moisture taking care that you keep stirring so that the onions and masala do not burn.
For the pie crust
Season the potato mash with salt, crushed jeera, red chilli powder, Haldi and Sambhar (garam masala powder)
In a well greased baking dish, put in half the seasoned potato mash and arrange in an even layer.
Top with the filling and spread evenly.
Cover with an even layer of the remaining half of the seasoned mashed potatoes.
Pour a tsp of oil and spread over the top of the lined pie.
Bake at 180 degrees in a preheated oven for around 20 minutes or till browned on top.
Brush with a beaten egg yolk and bake further for a minute or too till glazed.
Cool and cut in squares. Serve at room temperature with chutney or ketchup.