Courgette and chick pea filo pie

Pastilla is a delicious North African flakey pie. This vegetarian version offers a lighter alternative.

Serves6 Origin Fusion
Preparation 30 min Heat rating (Mild)
Cooking 40 min Ease (Average)
Vegetarian Yes


1 tsp Ground Coriander
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric
1 small onion or 1/2 a large onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 plump courgettes
125g basmati rice
500ml vegetable stock, or chicken if you prefer
2 x 425g can of chick peas, drained
100g melted butter
200g filo pastry


Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6 and put in a baking sheet.
Gently fry the cumin seeds with the onion in the olive oil until the onion is soft. Add the turmeric and coriander. Dice the courgettes (unpeeled), add them to the onion mixture, and cook on a fairly high heat to prevent the courgettes becoming watery. When they are soft but still holding their shape, add the rice and stir well, letting the rice become well coated in the oil. Add the stock 100ml at a time, stirring while you do so. When all the liquid has been absorbed the rice should be cooked, so take it off the heat, stir in the chick peas and check the seasoning.
Brush the insides of a springform tin with some of the melted butter. Line the bottom and sides of the tin with 3/4 of the filo, buttering each piece as you layer. Leave a little filo overlapping the sides, and keep 3–4 layers for the top. Carefully put in your slightly cooled filling, and then fold in the overlaps. Butter the last layers of filo and scrunch on top of the pie as a covering. Brush with a final coat of butter, and put in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the filo is golden and the middle hot. Check this by inserting a slim, sharp-bladed knife (or cake-tester). If, when you remove it, it feels hot when you press it against your wrist, the pie’s ready.

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