It’s been British Pie week for the last 7 days, a chance to celebrate everything pie. And who doesn’t love a good pie? A crunchy crust can top a whole host of tasty fillings inside.
As interest in plant-based eating rises, so does the amount of over-reaction from ‘the establishment’. You only have to see the extreme response from the likes of Piers Morgan to Greggs offering a vegan sausage roll to see that big change is afoot. The reaction to offering a plant-based alternative alongside the traditional sausage was off the scale. Goodness knows what would happen if they offered a plant-based product INSTEAD of a meat one! And what great marketing for Greggs, who have consistently increased their sales since their veggie sausage roll.
The same out-rage was expressed this week when a vegan pie was named “Supreme Champion” at the British Pie Awards this week! Now a sweet potato, butternut squash and spinach pie sounds delightful to me, but not to others. One chef is quoted as saying it’s a disgrace that the oldest culinary art form has “been taken away by vegans”. The fact that the winning entry is made by a butcher who makes a whole range of meat and plant-based pies seems to have passed him by….. Oh dear!
Whilst there are many plant-based version of pie now available on the market, many of them contain ingredients that are off the menu for people with food intolerances or using food as medicine for a health condition. Pastry often contains a mixture of refined fats or additives and the filling may include refined plant proteins or chemicals that cause a reaction. If you need to eat a gluten-free diet, this can be an issue too.
Here in The Sensitive Foodie Kitchen we love a good pie, so here is one that is super tasty, full of amazing whole nutrients and not difficult to make. The one I’m sharing with you is a ‘pot pie’ – a single crust over the filling baked in a dish. Simple and less pastry-orientated. And no doubt would not pass muster with the traditionalists!
This pie is packed full of lovely whole nutrients and phytonutrients, with plant-based protein in the chickpeas (as well as lovely microbiome-loving fibre) and anti-inflammatory properties in the cauliflower and spices. The pastry works with wholemeal or gluten-free flour alike, so you can adapt it to suit your needs. And if you have a problem digesting onion and garlic, use a pinch of asafoetida (hing) instead – it will give you the sulphur flavour of alliums without the painful after-effects. Plus the ginger and cumin will help soothe your irritated digestive system.
I added a little mango chutney on top of the filling – it’s optional, but gave the whole pie a little something extra. Omit if you don’t want to have the sugar or there’s none in your fridge.
I hope you will give this tasty, spicy pot pie a go – if you do, let me know how you get on.
Channa Aloo Gobi Pot Pie
For the pastry
- 200 grams wholemeal or gluten-free flour
- pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 160 ml water
For the filling:
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 320 grams potato cut into small dice
- 500 grams cauliflower florets chopped small
- 2 cm piece of fresh ginger grated
- 1 fat clove garlic grated
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 300 grams cooked chickpeas
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh coriander chopped
- 2 tablespoons mango chutney optional
For the pastry
- Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add the tahini and mix in with your fingers to create a breadcrumb-like texture. Add 120ml of water and bring together into a soft dough. The amount of water needed will depend on the type of flour, so add more water a tablespoon full at a time as needed. Do not make too wet.
- Put the dough to one side and leave to rest.
For the filling
- Place a large pan over a medium heat and dry fry the cumin and mustard seeds.
- Once the seeds start popping and you can smell their lovely aroma, add the onion and potato to the pan with a pinch of salt. Stir together then carefully pour in 60ml of water. Pop on the lid, reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower, turmeric and chilli, stir well and cook with the lid on for another 10 minutes, adding more water if it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. If it does, scrape up the lovely crusty bits from the bottom – they add to the flavour.
- When the vegetables start to soften, add the chickpeas and fresh coriander to the pan. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper as needed.
To construct the pot pie
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC. Grab 4 suitable pie dishes. Spoon the spicy mix into the dishes equally. Top with half a tablespoon of mango chutney in each (if using).
- Cut the pastry into 4 equal sections and roll into a ball. Using a piece of non-stick baking paper, roll out one ball into a round slightly bigger than the top of the pie dish. Carefully place over the top of the spicy mix, and press down into the edges of the rim. Cut a cross into the middle of the pastry and brush with dairy-free milk.
- Repeat with the rest of the pastry so you have 4 covered pies, place on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until your pastry is firm and lightly browned* and steam is coming out the middle.* If you are using gluten-free pastry is may not brown much
- Serve with steamed veggies or a salad of choice. Enjoy!