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saag aloo pie

May 24, 2013

Serves 12
Prep time: 90 minutes

Saag aloo pie main

This is a technique for a really easy tray-baked pie, if you ever have a lot of people to feed at once.  The technique is basically this: cheat with shop-bought pastry.  Buy two sheets of ready rolled shortcrust, roll the bottom one out slightly bigger than the other, pile your filling on, then lay the other sheet over the top and crimp the edges.  It looks really neat and is a good shape for slicing into twelfths (or greedy eighths).  I made it for friends last weekend and they scoffed the lot.

I’m sure there are loads of easy pie fillings you could do that would take no time to throw together.  I wanted to do something slightly fussier with this one, and I had the idea of making a big vat of saag aloo.  I always order saag aloo (curried spinach and potato) at the Indian, I blinking love the stuff.

It has a certain amount of oil in it, which offsets the healthiness of the dish but adds so much to the flavour that, personally, I wouldn’t consider skimping: honestly, it doesn’t taste oily, just unctuous and lush.

Saag aloo pie tray pic
500g spinach, thoroughly washed and drained
650g potatoes, peeled, chopped into 1 inch pieces, parboiled for 5 minutes
Two medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
One 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
Two garlic cloves, crushed
One green chilli, finely chopped
Vegetable oil, 50ml
Mustard seeds, 1 tsp
Chilli powder, 1 tsp
Cumin seeds, 1 tsp
Turmeric, 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek, 1/2 tsp
Three cardamom pods, bashed
Salt, 1 tsp or so
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Three tomatoes, seeds removed, flesh chopped
Ready rolled shortcrust pastry, two sheets (roughly 375g each) – look at the packet instructions, you may need to take them out of the fridge / packaging for an hour before use
Soy milk, to glaze

Heat the oil in a very large saucepan and fry the onion over a medium heat for about five minutes until softened.  Add the dry spices (chili powder, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, fenugreek and cardamom) and fry for two minutes, being careful not to burn the spices.  Add the garlic, ginger and fresh chilli and fry for two minutes.

Add the parboiled potatoes, giving them a good stir so they are completely covered in spicy oil.  Fry for about ten minutes, stirring every now and again, until the potatoes are almost cooked.

Now add the spinach, one large handful at a time, waiting until it wilts down before adding the next.  Once it is all wilted down add the tomatoes, lemon juice and salt.

Cook with the lid off for 15-25 minutes until the potatoes are cooked and the spinach is well thickened.  The mixture should be moist but not too wet.  Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary – if you find it slightly too sour for your tastes, a few pinches of brown sugar will balance it out.

When the curry is ready let it cool a little before filling the pie.

Preheat the oven to 200C.  Lay the first sheet of pastry on your work surface (on top of a sheet of greaseproof paper, if there is not one already in the packet) and roll it out to make it slightly bigger.

Lay the pastry on a baking sheet and pile the filling on top, leaving a 1.5 inch border all the way round.

Lay the second sheet of pastry on your work surface and roll it very slightly to smooth the surface and remove any creases.  Then lay the second sheet on top of your pie.

Crimp all the way around (the easiest way is to fold the lower sheet over the upper one, then press along it with your thumb).  Poke a few steam holes in the top.  Glaze with soy milk.

Bake in the oven for around 30-35 minutes until golden brown.



From → Baking, Mains, Recipes

  1. What an awesome idea…I think ill add some cheese tooo and go all the wayyyyyyyyy! 🙂

  2. Penniless Veggie permalink


    • Penniless Veggie permalink

      Oops, so excited I forgot to add a comment to my applause 😉
      Genius idea Jennie, I adore Sag Aloo, but never considered using it as a pie filling idea! Would also be perfect in pasties for the lunchbox and picnicking.

      • Thank you! 😀 I had the idea when I was with my mum in Greece during Lent, all the bakers were selling spinach and potato pies instead of the usual spinach and feta.

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