British Pie Week Pick: Chicken Pie Infused with Indian Spices

This pie is a subtle twist on the traditional English classic. Tender chicken breast and butternut squash are infused with a hint of warm Indian spices: turmeric, coriander, cumin and garam masala. The result is a super dish that will excite your taste buds while still giving you that warm feeling inside.

Serves: 4 – 6

Preparation time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 15-20 minutes


For the filling:

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 red chilli
  • ½ thumb size piece of root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 500g boneless chicken thighs, diced
  • 500g butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 3 cloves
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 50g plain flour
  • 400ml coconut milk

For the pastry crust:

  • 110g readymade puff pastry sheet
  • 110g readymade short crust pastry sheet
  • 1 egg, beaten, to brush the pastry
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  1. Roll out the short crust pastry until it is about 5cm larger than the pie dish. Lift it up, draped over the rolling pin, and lay it across the dish. Press the pastry into the corners of the dish using your fingers, don’t trim off the edges. Chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  1. For the chicken filling: Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the chilli, fresh ginger, cloves, and curry leaves and fry on a high heat for 20 seconds. Add the peppercorns and cumin seeds to the pan. Turn down the heat to medium and add the onions and, cook for 5 minutes until browned.
  1. Add the chicken and fry over high heat for five minutes, until it starts to colour. Stir in the turmeric, ground coriander, cinnamon and garam masala. Add the butternut squash. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for a further 10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
  1. Stir in the flour and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk and simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes until the squash is soft. Remove the pan from the heat. Leave to cool.
  1. Meanwhile fill the pastry case with a round piece of baking paper and add baking beans or dry rice to weigh it down. Bake for 15 minutes, then carefully remove the paper and beans and cook the pastry for 5 minutes more.
  1. Spoon the filling into a pastry case until it almost reaches the top. In the centre of the dish place a pie funnel or egg cup to help hold the pastry up as it cooks.
  1. Roll out the puff pastry so that it is slightly larger than the circumference of the pie dish. Use the beaten egg to wet the edges of the puff pastry and place it over the pie dish. Pinch the edges firmly to seal the pastry and brush the egg wash over the top. Prick the pastry with a fork to let the steam out whilst cooking.
  1. Place the pie into the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the pastry is golden-brown and crisp at the edges. Serve immediately.

Remi Gianquitto


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