This is yet another of Jay's brilliant ideas for winter - a vegetarian version of a pot pie, basically, but with Indian flavors that mimic a samosa, the street pastry that sometimes comes as an appetizer at Indian meals. 303
So basically it's pie crust wrapped around a super thick curry and the vegetables make it a health food.
I LOVE this because 1. it's vegetarian but 2. it's super comforting and warming and hearty just like a meat dish would be, and I feel like this time of year a lot of the comfort foods we're presented with are meat-filled. NOW, this is great for me because I love meat, but my other half doesn't like dead carcass so we need lots more cozy hearty dishes to fill our carb longings this time of year whether or not meat is involved.
So that's exactly what we did.
Now, I don't make my own pie crust because ain't nobody got time for that, but I also think that it's pretty easy to do in a food processor. At any rate, you need some kind of a pie crust - two, a top and a bottom. Then for the pie filling you'll need onion, carrot, celery, a potato, garlic, fresh ginger, frozen spinach, butter, flour, chick peas, garam masala, vegetable stock, and heavy cream. Garam masala is a spice blend that tastes like...India? but if you don't have that feel free to use any curry powder you like in the same quantity - this works especially well with yellow curry.
Stir everything for about 7 minutes to let it start cooking, then add the garlic and ginger. They can be minced or just grated right into the skillet, which I like doing because it's one less thing to chop. I keep fresh ginger in the freezer and grate it into whatever I'm using it for - no need for peeling or thawing, ever.
Stir THAT together, then make a little well in the center of the veggies and add the butter and the flour. This will cook to make a paste and then thicken the gravy we'll make. When the butter melts into the flour, stir everything together so the butter and flour coats all the veggies.
Pour in the cream. Stir everything together and taste the filling - add as much salt as you'd like to give it lots of flavor. It needs to taste just slightly saltier than you think it should - potatoes absorb a lot of salt and the pie crust isn't very salty. There should be gravy surrounding all the veggies, so add a splash or two of extra stock if you need to.
You will absolutely love this. It is on the heavy side from the pie crust and chick peas, but still healthy from all the veggies and only a leeeetle bit of cream for this whole big pie. We devoured it in just two days, so maybe make 2 if you are making this for a big group!
- 1 medium potato diced
- 1 medium carrot diced
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- ½ inch piece ginger minced
- 1 15 ounce can chick peas drained
- 5 ounces frozen spinach drained and thawed (half a package)
- 2 tablespoons garam masala or other curry powder
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup vegetable stock plus more if needed
- ½ cup heavy cream
- salt to taste
- 2 prepared pie crusts thawed if frozen
- Preheat the oven to 375F and a large skillet to medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. To the skillet, add the potato, onion, celery, and carrot with a sprinkle of salt. Stir the veggies for about 7 minutes to soften them, then add the garlic, ginger, garam masala, chick peas, and spinach. Stir for 3 minutes more until you can smell the garlic and ginger.
- Make a well in the center of the vegetable mixture and add the flour and butter. Melt the butter and stir it together with the flour, then stir the flour mixture into the veggies.
- Very slowly, pour in the vegetable stock, stirring as you go so the stock incorporates with the flour to thicken it and make a gravy. Pour in the cream. At this point, you should have a thick gravy. Add an extra splash or two of stock if needed so that the gravy covers all the veggies. Taste the mixture, and add salt to your preference.
- Press one of the pie crusts into the bottom of a pie plate. Pour the mixture into the plate, and top with the second pie crust. Pinch the edges together to seal, and cut little slits in the top of the pie to vent.
- Bake the pie for 30-40 minutes until the crust is browned and cooked through. Let rest for 15 minutes, then slice and serve.