Sunday, 1 March 2015

Proper Vegetarian Fiery Chilli Welsh Red Dragon Pie

Its time for a proper Welsh Red Dragon Pie.  I've made this recipe numerous times, but I have not blogged about it, so with it being St Davids Day here in Wales today, the desire to cook up some Welsh inspired recipes came calling.  

Before I begin, I must point out that no Welsh Red Dragons were harmed in the making of this vegetarian pie.  And although this pie does not contain any 'meat' it  certainly does breath a little fire to give your warmth.  This is one intensely full flavoured pie, even if I don't say so myself.  Its ultimately a vegetarian Shepherds Pie but with a a Welsh twist and a little fire and spice. 
The last time I posted a variation of a Red Dragon Pie in 2009, I was inspired to make a variation of it again for St David's Day.  The original recipes credited to Sarah Brown's in Vegetarian Kitchen is super duper easy.  Anyway, this is my adaptation, modern, proper Welsh and spiked with spices.  I do hope you approve. 
If you squint, you may just be able to make out a cayenne chilli flecked red dragon on the top of the pie. And for further visual effect, dragon scales. 

So what is in this fiery Red Dragon Pie?!
Firstly Aduki beans are henna red in colour, in some parts of the world they are fondly called red wonder beans or Red Dragon, hence its incorporation in this appropriately named pie.  Then we have carrots, for the Welsh aspect some Welsh Leeks from Blas Y Tir enhanced with red chilli flakes.  

Then topped with Welsh Dragon Mature Cheddar Cheese Mashed Desiree Potatoes also from Blas Y Tir  The mashed cheesy potato is enhance further with some fresh herbs and red chilli flakes and cayenne powder.  Finally its put into the oven to go all golden and hot. 

For other Welsh Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes see below
Welsh Haggis (Faggots) and Portobello Mushroom Haggis
Some Original Vegan Welsh Recipes
Five Welsh Vegetarian Leek Recipes
St Dwynwen's Day Vegetarian and Vegan Romantic Welsh Menu
National Welsh Rarebit Day

Fiery Chilli Welsh Red Dragon Pie
Serves 6
200g aduki beans, soaked overnight
2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium leeks, sliced and washed well of grit
2 - 3 garlic cloves, crushed
250g carrots, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1-11/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 x 400g tinned tomatoes, chopped
1/4 pint vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste

450g boiled potatoes, mashed with margarine
200g with mature cheddar cheese, grated with 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes and some thyme.

*This recipe can be easily veganised too, as the only ingredient that needs substituting is the cheese and I recommend you to do this by using 200g No Moo Melty Vegusto Dairy Free Cheese.  
Cook the beans according to the packet instructions, then drain and set aside.
In a wide pan, heat the oil, then add in the leeks and cook on medium heat until it begins to soften, then stir in the garlic, cumin, chilli flakes and thyme and cook for a few minutes for the spices to mingle and the garlic to soften with the leeks.
Then stir in the chopped tomatoes, crushing them further with a spoon.
Leave to cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes are well integrated.
Stir in the carrots and cook until tender, but still with a bit of bite.
Then stir in the cooked aduki beans and stock, bring to a boil.  Then turn down and simmer until  it has thickened. Turn off and transfer contents into a large ovenproof dish.

To the mashed potatoes, stir in the grated cheese, along with the chilli and herbs.  
Then carefully cover the pie filling. 
Using the back of a spoon imprint some scales or use a fork to decorate the surface.
Bake in preheated oven, gas mark 5/200oc for 45-50 minutes or until golden and bubbling on the side.  Serve immediately with some winter greens.  Adapted from Sarah Brown's in Vegetarian Kitchen.  


  1. love the look of this, but I don't like anything to hot like chili's, so would omit those.

    1. Its still delicious without the chilli, so I hope you enjoy.

  2. Ooh yes Shaheen, perfect for St David's Day and perfect for me too. I can't think of a more comforting dish. And your little red chilli dragon is very cute.

    1. This is the kind of dish I would have made when I was on my veggie adventure, thanks for noting the chilli dragon, he is a little faint - but there is you squint.

  3. I remember making Red Dragon Pie from that book very many years ago! I did note the cayenne dragon and the scales- nice touches!

  4. Hi Shaheen!
    What an interesting recipe. I have tried to celebrate St. David's Day on my blog in the past but I don't think I have ever seen an authentic recipe for the day. Very cool! (now I'm going to have to check to see if I have any Welsh cookbooks, lol:)

    I'm really liking the fire in this recipe. I adore Shepherd's Pie so I am sure I would love this as well.

    Thank you so much for sharing, Shaheen...

    P.S. Just a reminder that Cookbook Wednesday will be starting up again this Wednesday. I do hope you will be able to join us or drop by to see this week's cookbooks:)

    1. Oh Louise. Thank you so much. I really want to participate in Cookbook Wednesday, so may have to kickstart with a book that got me cooking outside of the veggie box.

    2. Sounds good to me, Shaheen! "See" you then!!!

  5. Hi Shaheen, Happy St David's Day! This looks like great comfort food, definitely will try it! :)

  6. Oh wow! Veggie shepherd's pie! Love how you embellished the top of the mash! So creative! Perfect for St Davvy!

    1. Thank you so much Susan, sometimes you have to make a little more effort in your food styling for it to appeal.

  7. I love that Vegusto cheese, it's great! Have you tried Violife yet? it's also a good cheese substitute. This looks lovely and warming Shaheen :)

    1. I've not tried violife yet, will see if I can find it locally and give it a go some day.

  8. Though I'm not a vegetarian, I love this pie and have been making it for 20 plus years.

    Like cottage pie, you can have endless varieties of it, using up leftover veg as you see fit.

    I find the addition of Worcestershire sauce does wonders, but if you want to have it purely vegetarian, you can leave it out although I think Heinz do one without the anchovies.

    1. Thank you for the comment Mike.
      It certainly is very adaptable. I use a vegan Worcester sauce by Tiger Tiger, in the past used Tamari or soy sauce, but I will check out the Heinz one, though I have to admit I am not a huge fan of their beans preferring a different brand.


  10. Red Dragon pie was one if my early signature dishes - all praise to Sarah Brown! What's not to like like about a cruelty free Shepherd's pie.

    1. So pleased to read this and would love to see your version some time in the future, perhaps around St David's Day.


If you’ve tried one of my recipes, Please let me know by leaving a comment below or tagging me social media with @SeasonalShaheen.

Thank You