This eye-catching vegetarian pie is made with a turmeric hot-water crust pastry and a well-spiced filling of slow-cooked onions, tomatoes and diced potatoes. The chilli-infused mango topping is added at the last moment.
Makes: one large pie, cuts into 8
Hands-on time: 2 hours
Baking time: 1 hour
Skill level: Up for a challenge
For the potato curry filling:
700g waxy potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoons rapeseed or sunflower oil
2 medium to large onions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black onion seeds
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
15g finely grated fresh root ginger (from a 4cm piece, peeled)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon curry powder, or to taste
1 tablespoon garam masala, or to taste
½ teaspoon chilli powder, or to taste
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
Ground black pepper
3 medium to large tomatoes
For the turmeric hot-water crust pastry:
100g strong white bread flour
450g plain flour
1½ tablespoons ground turmeric
Ground black pepper
75g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
100g solid vegetable fat (100%) made for baking, diced
½ teaspoon salt
1 medium egg, beaten, to glaze
For the mango and chilli topping:
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons water
½-1 red chilli (medium hot), to taste
1 very large (or 2 medium) ripe mangoes
1 teaspoon black onion seeds, for sprinkling
You will also need:
17cm round, deep cake tin
Baking sheet or baking tin (with a rim), lined with baking paper
Heatproof pastry brush
Small shaped cutter (optional)
Step 1 – Make the filling first so it has time to cool: cut the potatoes into 1.5-2cm cubes or chunks and put into a large pan. Add cold water to cover, bring to the boil and cook for about 10 minutes until just tender when tested with the point of a sharp knife – don’t let them start to fall apart. Drain thoroughly.
Step 2 – Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based, deep frying pan. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring frequently, over a low heat for about 12 minutes, until very soft. Then turn up the heat slightly and cook, stirring as before, until the onions turn a rich golden brown. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and onion seeds and stir fry for a couple of minutes until they start to ‘pop’ and spit. Then stir in the garlic and ginger followed by the ground cumin powder, curry powder, garam masala, chilli powder, ground coriander, turmeric, salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
Step 3 – Using the coarse side of a cheese grater, grate the tomatoes into the pan and stir well. Cook over a medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is very thick and has lost its watery appearance. Taste and add more spices, salt or pepper as needed. Stir in the potatoes, simmer for a minute then remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool.
Step 4 – Now make the pastry: put both flours, the turmeric and a few grinds of black pepper into a large, heatproof bowl. Add the butter and rub in until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Make a well in the centre. Put the vegetable fat, water and salt into a medium-sized pan and set over a low heat. Once the fat has melted, bring the mixture to the boil then tip it into the flour well. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon then as soon as the mixture has cooled enough to handle, turn it out onto a worktop very lightly dusted with flour.
Step 5 – Use your hands to knead the dough thoroughly for about 5 minutes until very smooth and pliable. Cut off a quarter of the dough to make the lid, wrap it in cling film and leave it on the worktop until needed. Wrap the outside of the cake tin (base and sides) with cling film to completely cover and place upside down on the worktop.
Step 6 – To form the pastry pie shell or case, roll out the remaining dough to a disc about 1cm thick. Set the disc on top of the cling-film covered base of the cake tin. Using your hands, gently but firmly ease and mould the pastry across the base and down the sides until the sides are 9cm high (it will be trimmed later), with no pleats, and about as thick as a pound coin all over. Chill for about 1 hour, until firm.
Step 7 – Roll out the rest of the pastry to a disc slightly larger than the top of the tin, cover with cling film and leave on the worktop to rest until needed. Towards the end of the resting time, heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/Gas 6. If you want to decorate the sides of the pie, re-roll any trimmings to 3mm thick and stamp out 6 shapes. Cover and set aside until needed.
Step 8 – Set the pastry pie case upright on the lined baking sheet and carefully lift out the cake tin, then peel away the cling film. Spoon the filling into the pastry case, making sure it is evenly and fairly firmly packed in. Trim the pastry sides so they are slightly higher than the filling, then brush the pastry rim with beaten egg and place the pastry lid on top.
Step 9 – Trim off any excess pastry so it fits well, and pinch together the pastry edges to firmly seal. Crimp the seam with the back of a fork. Brush the top and sides of the pastry case with beaten egg to glaze, then attach any pastry shapes to the sides and glaze these too. Cut a couple of small slits in the top to allow the steam to escape.
Step 10 – Bake the pie in the heated oven for about 55-60 minutes, until the pie is a rich golden colour and the pastry is crisp. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Step 11 – Meanwhile, make the mango chilli topping: put the sugar and water into a medium-sized pan and heat gently until the sugar has completely dissolved. Slice the chilli as thinly as possible, discarding the seeds and ribs (be careful: the chilli can burn your skin, eyes etc. so wash your hands immediately), and add to the pan. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Step 12 – Peel the mango and slice the flesh away from the stone on either side. Cut these two ‘slabs’ into thin curved strips and add to the pan. Simmer for 1 minute then lift out – draining the syrup back into the pan. Leave to cool on a plate. Cut the rest of the mango flesh away from the stone, finely dice it and add to the pan. Simmer for a minute then drain, as before, and set aside on another plate. Remove the chilli from the syrup and leave to cool as well.
Step 13 – When ready to serve, set the pie on a serving plate or board and decorate the top with the mango slices, filling in the gaps with the diced mango. Finish with the chilli slices and sprinkle with black onion seeds.