There’s an Indian grocery around the corner where we solely shop for the best home-made samosas in Helsinki. Those little pies are so good that we sometimes buy a whole bunch of them to serve at family parties and such, usually exhausting their stock with a single purchase. And after having just a few bites of my curry pies, Heikki thought they come very close to the deliciousness of those perfect samosas!
I find it oddly gratifying that anything baked, using only whole spelt flour, and filled with lentils and quinoa can compare to those deepfried, salt-laden treats – even if the yumminess of my pies is of a different, more wholesome kind. The dough I used was adapted from the recipe I found from the Dog Hill Kitchen blog, and which I used in my apple pocket pies last year. It’s lovely and very easy to work with. This time I actually colored the dough yellow with turmeric, which doesn’t show in the picture much at all – my photographic eye hasn’t gotten used to the bright spring sun just yet!
The Dough (made 10 medium-sized pies):
- 5 and 1/2 dl whole spelt flour
- 2 dl water (cold)
- 5 tablespoons margarine (cold)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper
I first combined the flour, salt, baking powder and spices in a bowl, and then mixed the margarine in with a fork. When the dough started to be very crumbly without any large lumps of margarine, I added the water, and kneaded with my hands until smooth, soft and workable. A little more flour or a little more water might be needed, it all depends on how dry the flour is.
Then I placed the dough in the fridge while I made the filling.
The Filling (for 10 pies and some leftovers):
- 1 and 1/2 dl red lentils, rinsed
- 1 dl quinoa, rinsed
- 4 dl water
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- canola oil for frying
- 2 teaspons grated ginger
- 2 dl cabbage, grated
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons mild curry paste (Rajah’s or similar)
- 2 teaspoons curry leaves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 dl chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon veggie broth powder (if needed)
- 1 dl plain soy yoghurt
I first heated the oil in a non-stick pan and fried the onions until soft. Then I added the ginger and fried a minute or two, added the cabbage and fried until a little softened, and then added the following: curry paste, coriander, chili flakes, and curry leaves. After a few minutes I poured in the lentils, quinoa, and water, and brought them to boil. Then I covered the pan and lowered the heat, and let the filling simmer for 15 minutes.
At this point the quinoa was almost done and the filling had a porridge-like consistency. I removed it from heat, stirred in garam masala, soy yoghurt, and cilantro, as well as a teaspoon of veggie broth powder to add some saltiness. It might not even be necessary since curry pastes are often quite salty.
Before the assembly, the filling needed to cool down to room temperature, so it wouldn’t melt the margarine in the dough.
I divided the dough in 10 equal parts and rolled each into a ball. Then I floured my working surface lightly with some spelt flour, and rolled each ball out until they had the diameter of about 13 centimeters. Now I placed a generous amount of filling in the center of each round, folded them over to form a half-moon shape, and sealed with the spikes of a fork. I also poked a few air vents in each pie with the fork.
Then I baked the curry pies in 175 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. I find that in our climate, these are best stored in a paper bag in room temperature, but we did freeze a few for future lunches as well.