My mum found this recipe and sent it my way last week. The email was named ‘something different’ which it certainly was!
If you find yourself making a curry and you are catering for a vegetarian keep this dish up your sleeve, and surprise your guest with something that will make them feel just as special as other meat-eating guests.
This dish does take time, but most of that time is spent waiting for things to cook in the oven. If you are cooking for an evening of guests I would suggest splitting your time in half. I have starred (*) a break point below in the creating stage.
Cooking for Saturday night? Do the first half in the morning!
Ingredients Serves 6/8 people
200ml/7fl oz vegetable oil
2 onions, sliced
450g/1lb potatoes, cubed
1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted in a dry frying pan and ground to a powder
1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted in a dry frying pan and ground to a powder
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp ground ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 red chillies, finely chopped salt and freshly ground black pepper
450g/1lb baby spinach
270g/9½oz pack filo pastry, cut in 15-20 sheets
melted 1 tbsp honey
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Heat approximately 1tbsp of the oil in a frying pan and fry the onions for 4-5 minutes, or until golden-brown. Remove from the pan and set aside. Pour 2 tbsp of the vegetable oil into a baking tray and heat in the oven until it starts to smoke. Carefully add the potatoes to the hot oil and stir gently to coat them in the oil. Add the spices, garlic and chilli and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the tray with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Mix the onions, potatoes, spinach and pistachios together in a bowl until well combined. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. I ended up using my largest pan for this as the spinach is quite bulky until the heat and damp wilts it enough.
* Reduce/or set the oven to 160C/300F/Gas 2.
Take your pastry out of the fridge 1/2hr before you need it.
Grease a large ovenproof dish, square would be best! I found that by unraveling the filo sheets there was no need to cut the sheets, just hold the sheet up, and lay the sheet into the dish, then fold the excess back on itself, once the first layer is brushed with butter. this should effectively mean you are halving the pastry without knives!
When you have 4 layers down, stop with the butter, no need for the top layer as your mixture now goes in.
Spread one third of the potato and spinach mixture on top of the pastry in an even layer.
Add 4 more pastry sheets to the dish in layers, greasing in between each layer with melted butter. Spread over another third of the potato and spinach mixture.
Repeat the process with another four pastry layers and the remaining potato and spinach mixture.
Finish with the last few sheets of filo pastry. Brush the top layer of pastry with the remaining melted butter drizzle over the honey.
Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the pastry layers are crisp and pale golden-brown. To serve, spoon a portion of the pie onto each plate. spoon the yoghurt alongside and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
I served this with broccoli and cauliflower, you can serve with salad if you want.
This dish had great flavour and the crispy filo pastry gave it a good contrast in texture. for more heat throw in another chilli, but that is down to your own, or your guests tastebuds.
This recipe was on the BBC Food by Simon Rimmer. I’ve amended it to take you through my steps.