Today is Pie Day or Pi Day or 3.14 Day or basically March 14th. Whatever you choose to call it, the only thing that really matters to me about this special day is that WE ALL NEED TO eat pie today. This is not a drill, nor is it a suggestion. It is a requirement. I’m demanding it of you. Once a year all the math nerds and pie bakers and lovers alike come together to celebrate the fact that today’s date starts just like the mathematical constant Pi. I’ve been sharing pie recipes on the blog on Pi Day for a few years now, and they’ve all been sweet, but pies do not always have to be sweet all the time. Now, what I’m about to confess to you might shock you, but I happen to love savory pies much more than the dessert variety. This year, I decided to switch things up a bit and make a savory Indian potato and pea samosa pie. I love a good Indian takeout session on the couch in front of the TV. It’s one of my favorite things to do at the end of a long work week, when all I’ve done is cook all day long. The best part about these take-out dinners is the samosas. Hands down. The bad part is that the samosas are small and I’m always left wanting more. This pie is like a giant samosa and so now you don’t ever have to worry about fighting for the last one. That’s the magic of Pi Day.
Let’s start by making the chutney. We can’t mention samosas or even Indian food without mentioning a really good spicy chutney for dunking and dipping and pouring. This one is made with fresh cilantro, mint and parsley.
In a blender, combine all those fresh herbs together with a few chiles (depending on how hot you want it), salt, water and lemon juice until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.
**Note: If you’re having a hard time blending all the ingredients, try adding a splash of water at a time until completely smooth. You might have to stop the blender and push the herbs down with a spoon.**
Stir in the yogurt, mixing until well combined. Give it a taste and adjust seasoning accordingly, adding more salt as needed. The yogurt does two things. A). It cuts down on some of that spicy heat. And B). It gives the chutney a nice texture.
**Tip: Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until ready to use. This can be made about 3 days in advance.**
Give some yellow potatoes a good scrub and then cut into small cubes. Place into a pot and fill with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and let set aside.
**Note: I like using yellow potatoes because their skin is very thin so you don’t have to peel them at all!**
Set a skillet over moderate heat and add the ghee. Once melted add the onions and cook until softened and lightly browned. Then stir in the cilantro, peas, chile, water and lemon juice. Cover and cook until the peas are bright green and warmed through, about 5 minutes.
**Tip: Ghee is Indian butter that has been clarified, which just means it has been melted and the milk solids have been removed, which prevents it from burning when heated.**
Then add in the potatoes, spices, and a pinch of salt.
Give it a big stir and then set it off to the side and allow it to cool down to room temperature. You don’t want to add the filling to the crust while hot, because it’ll soften the butter in the crust and then it won’t be flaky!
Let’s talk about the pie crust dough for this recipe. I’m using the one for my Baked Vegetable Samosa post! It’s a great crust that is flavored with Ajwain seeds. Roll out half of it on a lightly floured work surface and then place into a pie plate.
Transfer the cooled filling into the rolled out crust and then smooth out into a mound. Then roll out the second half of dough and place on top of the filling. Roll the crust under the edge and then crimp into a decorative edge or press down with a fork all the way around.
Make a few slits on top of the pie to allow steam to release and then brush completely with egg wash. This will ensure a golden brown flaky crust.
Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
This pie could be made in advance and kept in the fridge, before egg washed and baked. So roll, fill and prepare the pie, then wrap in plastic and keep in the fridge for up to 1 day. Then brush with egg wash and bake as directed.
So this is a hefty starchy carby pie and it most definitely needs a sauce. So make sure you make the cilantro and mint chutney to go along with it because it’s a must.
I like to make this for dinner, as a vegetarian meal. You know I can’t always eat vegetarian all the time because I need some kind of meat BUT sometimes I feel like it’s a must. So make a simple tossed green salad to serve alongside it!
Next time you’re in the mood for Indian take out, keep this pie in mind, and remember that pies aren’t always just sweet. I love a good savory pie just as much as the dessert kind. If you haven’t tried them yet, you must. This breakfast pie is also my weakness.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons ajwain (carom or caraway) seeds
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
- ¼ to ⅓ cup ice cold water
- 1 pound yellow potatoes, diced
- 2 tablespoons ghee or canola oil
- 1 small yellow onion, minced
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 1 small hot Indian chile, stemmed, seeded and minced (or small Thai chiles)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¾ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly crushed
- ¼ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- egg wash
- 3 cups tightly packed cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- 1 cup fresh Mint leaves
- ½ cup fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 to 2 small hot Indian Chiles
- ¾ cup plain yogurt
- salt to taste
- To make the crust: Mix together the flour, sugar, salt and ajwain (carom or caraway) seeds in a large mixing bowl. Add the cold butter and cut-in with a pastry blender or with your fingers, until it forms coarse crumbs the size of peas. Add the cold water and mix until the dough comes together. Add more water as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Divide into two pieces, form into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.
- Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and fill with cold water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook until just barely fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and let cool.
- Set a large skillet over moderate heat. Once hot, add the ghee and melt. Stir in the onion and cook until just barely softened. Add the peas, cilantro, ginger, chile and three tablespoons of water. Cook until the peas have warmed through, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice, coriander, garam masala, cumin, cayenne, potatoes and salt, and cook, stirring often, until the potatoes are heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- To make the chutney, combine the cilantro, mint, parsley, chiles, 3 tablespoons of water and lemon juice in a blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the yogurt. Give it a taste and adjust seasoning accordingly, adding more salt as needed. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Working with one half of dough at a time, transfer to a well-floured work surface and roll out into large circle. Carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Transfer the cooled filling to the crust, smoothing out as best you can. Roll out the second half of the dough and transfer onto the top. Trim off any excess dough and then seal the edges, crimping all round. Make a few slits in the center and then brush with egg wash. Bake until golden brown all around, about 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool slightly. Cut and serve warm with the chutney. Enjoy!