Spiced potato, lentil and coriander hot water crust pie

2016-03-11 21.44.08

Hi everyone. This is the recipe for the pie I took on BBC Breakfast. It’s much better to make it the day before, let it cool then keep it in the fridge overnight. It will firm up and the flavours will develop. This pie is really easy to make and tastes delicious.

You might have some filling left over. You could always make some little pasties with any pastry left over too or just freeze it for next time.

To make the red flowers just make a really small quantity of hot water crust pastry and use beetroot powder or red food colouring to achieve the colour.

The recipe below explains how to make flowers using left over yellow pastry.

2016-03-11 21.44.08







Equipment Required:

8″ Springform Cake Tin, greased and the bottom lined with non stick baking parchment.



For the pastry:

675g plain white flour

150g strong white flour

120g unsalted butter

150g Lard

3 teaspoons turmeric

1 teaspoon fine salt

300ml water


For the filling:

1100g Maris Piper Potatoes – peeled, cut into bite size pieces and par boiled for 10 minutes until just tender, then rinse in cold water to stop cooking.

300g Lentils, I used Ghana Dal yellow split peas – boiled as per packet instructions until just tender, then rinse in cold water to stop cooking.

3 tbsp rapeseed oil

4 tsp cumin seeds

3 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

2 tsp turmeric

4 tbsp garam massala

3 medium onions – finely chopped

2 garlic cloves – finely chopped

2” fresh ginger – finely chopped

4 tomatoes – coarsely chopped

2 bunches fresh coriander – finely chopped

Loads of salt and pepper for seasoning

3 egg yolks for gluing and glazing


  • Make the pie filling first. This can be made well in advance and kept in the fridge until needed. It needs to be cold to fill the pie.
  • Fry the cumin and mustard seeds in the oil until just popping.
  • Add the onions and garlic and fry gently until translucent.
  • Add the chilli flakes, turmeric, garam masala, ginger with a splash of water and fry gently for another 5 minutes. Don’t let this mixture dry too much, add a little more water if required.
  • Remove from the heat. Stir through the potatos, Ghana dal, tomatoes and coriander until well mixed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place in a bowl to cool before placing in a fridge if you are not using it immediately.
  • Preheat your oven to 200c fan/220c/Gas 5.
  • Make the hot water crust pastry next.
  • Place the water, lard and butter in a small pan and bring to the boil.
  • Place all the remaining ingredients for the pastry in a large bowl and mix.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the hot water mix.
  • Using a large wooden spoon mix well.
  • Once it has cooled a little mix well using hands, then tip out onto a clean surface and knead for a minute to create a smooth dough.
  • Divide the dough into 2/3rd and a 1/3rd.
  • Line the tin with 2/3rd of the dough leaving an overhang all the way around. I roll it to a thickness of around 4mm. You shouldn’t need to flour your surface when rolling as this pastry is self-greasing. If it does break or split in places you can just patch it up.
  • Place the cold filling evenly into the pie and compact it well.
  • Next roll out the remainder of the pastry to a circle larger than the tin to make the lid. Again about 4mm thick is fine.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush egg yolk all around the pie top edge and place the lid on it. Press down firmly to make a good seal and then trim off the excess.
  • Using your fingers neatly crimp all around the edge and I use a 1cm piping nozzle to cut out 3 holes in the top of the pie so the air can escape.
  • Now here’s the key to success with a hot water crust pastry pie to prevent sogginess. Place the pie on a baking tray to catch any excess fluid that may come out during baking and put in the hot oven just below centre and bake for 30 minutes. Don’t open the oven door during this period as we want the outside of the pie to crisp up.
  • Next loosely place a piece foil on the pie to prevent the top burning and lower the temperature to 180c fan/200c/Gas 4 and bake for a further 60 minutes. The foil will stop the top browning too much.
  • While the pie is baking make the decorations. Roll the pastry trimmings to 4mm thick and use a fondant cutter to make your shapes. Place them on a baking tray lined with non stick baking parchment. Place them on a separate shelf in the oven for 20 minutes, then remove and leave to cool while the pie finishes baking.
  • When the pie is baked remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the tin and place on a flat baking tray. Brush a layer of egg yolk all over the pie and place your baked decorations on top. They will stick to the pie because of the egg yolk. Gently brush the decorations too with yolk.
  • Place the pie back in the oven for 6 minutes. The decorations will stick to the pie and the yolk will give the pie a beautiful glaze.
  • Allow the pie to cool completely before storing in the fridge.