There is an old nursery rhyme that reminds us of Little Jack Horner who sat in a corner, eating his Christmas pie. We are told that he put in his thumb and pulled out a plum, exclaiming, “What a good boy am I!” For us in India, most of the cakes, puddings and pies are of the sweet variety. We tend to overlook the rich repertoire of the savoury stuff of the same kind.
There was a time when we were children studying in school in a hill station and curry puffs, mince pies, patties and quiches were popular. They were displayed in the canteen as well as counters in our favourite bakery. We have always wondered why the pies and puffs went out of fashion. In our opinion, they make a wonderful addition to the trolley of snacks at high tea. Whenever the weather is unpredictable, our thoughts turn to these old friends. They are equally delicious and satisfying, hot, or at room temperature, when you don’t know if you are bidding goodbye to the winter or welcoming the spring. Run-of-the mill patties, which are usually encountered these days, cannot hold a patch to these.
Till recently, most of us were deterred from trying our hand at pie-making because of the daunting challenge of preparing the pastry dough. We have never understood this either. We Indians are adept at kneading dough of all kinds — be it poori, parantha, samosa or kachori — and in rolling disks of different sizes. An electrical mixer can be used to blitz in short bursts to obtain a crumbly dough. In any case, readymade pastry sheets are easily available at foods marts. Do try this Indianised pie at home. It is full of nutrition and children and adults love it alike.
- Sweet green peas 1 cup
- Sweetcorn 1 cup
- Hard cheese (grated) 1/2 cup
- Carrot (scraped, diced) 1 (large)
- Potatoes (peeled, diced) 2 (medium)
- Garlic clove 1 (minced)
- Cumin powder 1/2 tsp
- Coriander powder 1/2 tsp
- Garam masala 1/2 tsp
- Chat masala 1/2 tsp
- Sweet chilli sauce 1/4 cup
- Tomato sauce 2 tbsp
- Pastry sheets (9-inch diameter) 2
- Milk 1 tbsp
- Butter/oil 1/4 cup
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
Parboil the potatoes. Set aside. Heat oil or butter in a large skillet or pan and put in the garlic. Add the corn, peas, boiled potatoes, carrot and cheese. Sprinkle salt, pepper, chilli powder, cumin seed powder and coriander powder. Add the sweet chilli sauce. Mix well and remove from flame. Place one pastry sheet in a pie plate. Brush lightly with some tomato sauce, add the prepared mixture. Place the second pastry sheet on top and seal the edges using a fork and pressing its back lightly. Lightly brush with milk and bake for 10 minutes at 450°F. Reduce heat to 350°F for another 25 minutes more, till the surface is golden brown. Enjoy!
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