Madras Jackfruit-Chickpea Shepherd's Pie

Madras Jackfruit-Chickpea Shepherd's Pie

I used to have an obsession with the Madras Potatoes from the Whole Foods’ Hot Bar. After a long run or a tough workout, all I wanted to do was load up a brown paper take-out box with their delightful, spicy potatoes. When we left California’s Bay Area, it marked the end of Whole Foods’ Madras Potatoes. I learned that every Whole Foods’ Hot Bar is a little different by region of the country. Now, I would need to learn to make my own Madras.

This recipe takes inspiration from Madras Curry, which originated in the south of India and got its name from the city of Madras, but has a definite departures. Nevertheless, it is a spicy blend that really works well with all the elements of this casserole. Jackfruit, chickpeas, and greens are perfect. While you can use any green you would like, mustard greens will add extra spice and complexity. The ginger-garlic mashed potatoes are seriously delicious—blending garlic, ginger, coconut cream, lemon juice and a generous amount of salt together. Layer them together, bake it in the oven, and wow. It’s a taste sensation.

Madras curry is known for being spicy, but you can easily adjust the heat on this recipe. Add more Serrano pepper to make it spicier (I used 1 ½ peppers), or use less Serrano pepper. While the tomato sauce adds acidity to the sauce, if you think it needs a touch more acid, add some lemon juice until it tastes just right to you. Personally, I did not think that it needed it.

Finally, I used one 13.66 ounce can of coconut cream for this recipe. I used part of it for the curry, and part of it for the ginger-garlic mashed potatoes. You may need a bit more than ¼ cup coconut cream for the potatoes, but start with ¼ cup and see how fluffy it turns out. If it needs another tablespoon, you should have plenty of coconut cream left.

All-in-all, if you like shepherd’s pie and you like curries, you’re gonna love this recipe!

Madras Jackfruit-Chickpea Casserole

Madras Jackfruit-Chickpea Shepherd’s Pie

Ginger-Garlic Mashed Potatoes

4-5 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

¼ cup coconut cream

1 Tbsp vegan butter

1 Tbsp lemon juice

Salt, to taste

Madras Curry

2 Tbsp vegan butter

1 medium onion, chopped

4-5 large garlic, coarsely chopped

1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1-2 Serrano chiles (see note above)

2 Tbsp ground coriander

1 Tbsp ground cumin

1 ½ tsp ground turmeric

1 ½ tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp whole black peppercorns

½ cup coconut cream

1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce

Salt, to taste

1 15.5 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 14 ounce can of young jackfruit, drained and shredded

3-4 cups of greens (your choice of any of the following: mustard greens, spinach, kale or collards)

Fresh cilantro, to serve

Mashed Potatoes.jpg

1. Add potatoes to a medium pot, and fill the pot with water until it just covers the potatoes. Bring to a boil on the stove, and then, turn down to low heat. Cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar to create a vent, and boil for ~20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the water off.

Ginger-Garlic Mashed Potatoes

2. Add the ginger, garlic, coconut cream, vegan butter, lemon juice and salt to the potatoes. Mash until fluffy. If you need to add a bit more coconut cream to achieve a fluffy mashed potato, add an extra tablespoon, mash again, and see what happens. Taste, and make adjustments, if needed (more lemon, salt, etc). Set aside.

Madras Curry Sauce

3. In a deep, heavy pot or a dutch oven, add vegan butter, onions, garlic, ginger, chiles, coriander, cumin, turmeric, mustard seeds, whole black peppercorns, and salt. Sauté over medium heat for about 7-10 minutes, or until onions are soft. Add the coconut cream, tomato sauce and the contents of the pot to a blender (or use an immersion blender). Blend until mostly smooth. Return it to the pot, if you used a regular blender. Taste, and adjust seasonings, if needed.

Vegan Madras Jackfruit-Chickpea Shepherd's Pie.jpg

4. Add the chickpeas, jackfruit, and greens of your choice to the curry sauce. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes or until the greens break down. While the curry is simmering, preheat the oven to 400 F, and grease a 8” X 11” pan.

Madras Jackfruit-Chickpea Shepherds Pie

5. Spread the madras curry evenly across the greased 8” X 11” pan. Layer the mashed potatoes across the top. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes at 400 F. Remove from the oven, and top with fresh cilantro. Serve.

Madra Jackfruit-Chickpea Shepherd's Pie