22 Dec A Christmas Alternative – Indian Sweet Potato Pie
It’s that time of year again folks when we are starting to think about the Christmas dinner and everything that entails – starter, main, side dishes, dessert, cheeses, chocolate ….. and on and on the list goes.
I am often asked what to make for vegetarians/ vegans and also, what is a good alternative if you just want to give your digestive system a rest from meat and dairy.
Born and raised as a kiwi – we love nothing more than a good pie – there is something comforting as you chomp your way through layers of crunchy pastry into the soft filling of your choice, savoury or sweet. The down side, for some, is the bloated feeling afterwards – especially if you are sensitive to gluten!
The recipe below is a pie but I use filo pastry as an alternative – these wafer thin pastry sheets become so beautifully crisp when cooked and make a wonderful crack when you take a bite. They are also only a fraction of the calories compared to a traditional flaky pastry. Vegan filo pastry sheets are available for coeliacs, vegans or anyone sensitive to gluten. This recipe is always a winner in our home, the flavours are comforting, it looks impressive and is a welcome relief from the copious amounts of turkey and ham that have accumulated in the fridge.
Wishing your tummy’s a very Happy Festive Season.
Michele McCormack, Head Chef at Pure Results Bootcamp
1kg sweet potatoes
1 tsp tumeric
Juice of 1 ½ lemons
1 inch piece of fresh ginger grated
25g fresh coriander, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
6 Jus Rol filo pastry sheets
1 tsp mustard seeds (vegan option also available)
1 tsp ground coriander olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin nigella seeds
2 tsp garam masala
- Preheat oven to 190c deg/gas mark 5.
- Heat some salted water in a large saucepan until boiling.
- Peel the sweet potato and cut into slices, add to the boiling water and cook for 6-8 mins. They should be slightly underdone. Drain and set aside.
- While sweet potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add onion, garlic, mustard seeds, cumin, coriander, garam masala, ginger and tumeric. Cook gently until the onion is soft.
- Add the spinach to the pan and sauté until cooked. Set aside.
- Brush a 23cm(9inch) pie dish with olive oil. Line with one filo, sheet. Brush the filo sheet with olive oil and lay a second one on top to make a cross. Brush this second sheet with olive oil. Lay a third sheet at approx. 45 deg angle from the first filo sheet. Brush with olive oil and lay a fourth sheet at a 45deg angle from the second filo sheet. Brush with olive oil. Make sure you leave enough filo pastry overhanging on each layer so it can be folded over the pie later. By now your pie dish should be entirely lined with filo pastry.
- Mash the sweet potato into chunks with a fork. Do not mash them too fine, otherwise the pie will be too soft. Add the spinach mixture along with the fresh coriander. Add the lemon juice and mix together until well blended. Add to the pie dish and distribute it evenly.
- Cover the top with one filo pastry sheet and brush with olive oil. Lay a second one on top to make a cross. Brush again with olive oil.
- Carefully fold the overhanging pastry over the top of the pie, scrunching them up. Brush the top of the pie with olive oil and sprinkle nigella seeds all over.
- Bake in the oven for 30-35 mins until golden and crisp. Leave to cool for 10 mins before serving.
- Serve with a coriander and lime raita and enjoy.
250ml plain soya yogurt
1 tblsp fresh coriander chopped
1 tbslp spring onion chopped
2 tsp lime juice, salt
½ cucumber grated
½ tsp cumin powder.
Combine all the ingredients and season to taste. Refrigerate for at least 30 mins to allow the flavours to develop. Keep in the fridge in a sealed container for 2-3 days.