Thanksgiving in Canada is just around the corner and for many, that means planning a special meal for family and friends. This can be a challenge for carnivores and vegetarians alike as cooks aim to please everyone at the table.
Spicy, substantial and rich, this savory baked pie with a samosa-style potato, chickpea, spinach and vegetable filling in a flaky pie crust makes for a perfect centerpiece for holiday tables. An additional bonus is this potpie is vegan friendly if a vegan crust is used, but if that is not a concern, go ahead and make your favorite butter crust.
Rest assured that none of your dining companions will leave the table hungry, especially when the pie is served with dal soup and some colourful vegetable sides. Your diners will be lining up for seconds, so make more than one pie depending on how many guests you are expecting.
Don’t be intimidated by the number of ingredients. It is a bit time consuming to make but it’s well worth the effort and not complicated to prepare.
your favorite double crust pie pastry
For the Filling:
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil or other oil
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 small carrot, diced
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 to 3 hot chillies, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 2/3 teaspoon [highlight]chat masala[/highlight] (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- pinch of asafetida (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 1 large tomato, finely chopped
- 1 small bunch fresh spinach, trimmed and roughly chopped
- 1 large potato, roasted or boiled, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas, lightly steamed or gently boiled for a few minutes
- 1 1/4 cup cooked chickpeas (1/2 cup dried)
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, trimmed and finely chopped
- small handful of fresh basil, finely chopped (optional)
For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter, ghee or oil
- 2 tablespoons chickpea flour (besan) or unbleached white flour
- 1 1/4 cup coconut milk or plain whole fat yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon [highlight]garam masala[/highlight]
Begin by preparing your pie crust. Chill in the fridge while you prepare the pie filling.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. When hot, toss in the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and cook, stirring frequently, until the mustard seeds turn grey and begin to splutter and pop. Add the onion to the pan and fry, stirring often, until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the carrot to the pan and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the ginger, garlic and chilies, and cook for another few minutes.
Now add the ground cumin, coriander, paprika, chili powder, chat masala, turmeric, cayenne, asafetida and salt, and stir for 1 minute.
Now add the tomato and continue to stir for a few minutes to thicken. Add the spinach, a handful at a time, until wilted. Gently stir in the potato, green peas and chickpeas, and gently simmer on medium-low heat.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter or heat the oil over medium-low heat. When hot, whisk in the flour and keep stirring until browned — about 3 minutes. Turn up the heat slightly and whisk in the coconut milk or yogurt. Simmer, whisking occasionally, until the mixture thickens — about 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in the garam masala and transfer the mixture to the cooked vegetables and chickpeas. Simmer for another few minutes to blend the flavors. Remove from the heat and let cool for a bit.
To finish, roll out half of your dough into a 12-inch circle, roughly 1/8-inch thick. Gently fold the pastry in half and transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Do not stretch the dough, but carefully press the round into the dish so that the sides are lined and you have some overlap. Trim excess dough so that about 1/2-inch remains to make up the crust.
Transfer the filling to the lined pie plate, spreading the mixture out evenly.
Roll out the second round of dough and place on top of the pie. Press together the bottom and top layers of the pastry and trim off any excess. Fold the top layer of dough over and under the bottom layer, press firmly together and flute the edges. Cut 4 to 5 slits into the top of the pastry.
Bake in a preheated 425° oven for 30 minutes. At this point, remove from the oven and cover the outer layers of the crust with some foil wrap so the edges don’t burn. Return to the oven and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the top of the pie is golden brown.
Let the pie cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Serves 6 – 8
[highlight]Other vegetarian ideas[/highlight] you may want to consider making to adorn your Thanksgiving table from my kitchen.