Even though it technically doesn’t happen until 20th March, spring is in the air, even if it may not last.

We had some lovely weather at the end of February and into the first week of March, the days are drawing out; the snowdrops are looking amazing, the daffodils are coming out and we have even seen our first lambs, at least on our rural neck of the world.

After a long winter, in more ways than one, we’re emerging from hibernation, literally!

The schools are back on Monday, you can now meet one other person outside your household and from 29th March we will be able to play sport again outside and meet up with six people or two households in the park and, get this, even in your own garden!

Remember this time last year when lockdown was a novelty and we lucked out that March and April brought such amazing weather?

We couldn’t be a lucky this time could we? Ever the optimists, we are saying yes, which means we can enjoy spring outside with friends and family and perhaps even dust off the picnic baskets. How amazing would that be?

A great staple of a picnic is pie. Whether it’s a small pork pie or something bigger which you can share with others – six that is!

So as this week is British Pie Week and with outdoor dining now within our grasp again, we hope you enjoy our recipe, which definitely has an SK twist!

Onion bhaji topped chicken tikka pie

Coriander and onion seed pastry:

  • 450g plain flour
  • 200g salted butter (chilled and diced)
  • 10g salt
  • Coriander 20g
  • 10g onion seeds

In a kitchen mixer add all the ingredients and mix to form a bread crumb like consistency. Gradually add cold water till a dough is formed. Take out and knead for a few minutes. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

Once the pastry is chilled, oil the inside of your pie moulds then with a sheet of cling film press into the pie mould. This will help you release the pastry once it’s cooked. Portion the dough into 75g balls and roll out to ½cm thick, place into the pie mould and trim the edges cover with another layer of cling film and fill with baking beans and blind bake at 180oc till the pastry is just cooked, take out the baking beans and the cling film and blind bake for another 10 minutes to cook the pastry fully.

Chicken tikka filling

  • 100g diced white onion
  • 30g olive oil
  • 30g butter
  • 500g small diced chicken breast
  • 100g caramelised onion chutney
  • 60g natural yoghurt
  • 30g ginger puree
  • 40g garlic puree
  • 7.5g cumin powder
  • 7.5g coriander powder
  • 10g paprika
  • 1 whole diced red chilli
  • Small pinch of dried mint
  • 40g tomato paste
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 5g salt
  • 2g turmeric
  • 12g tandoori masala powder
  • 5g garam masala
  • 190g water
  • 104g soft cheese
  • 10g cornflour

On a medium to high heat place a frying pan on the heat. Heat up the oil and butter then fry the onions, garlic, ginger and tomato paste till everything is golden brown and cooked. Then follow with the diced chicken breast and cook till the chicken breast is juicy and tender. Add the rest of the ingredients apart from the water and cornflour mix these together to form a slurry. Cook everything together till thick then add the slurry and cook for a further 5 minutes. Leave to chill.

To finish:

  • 1 egg (whisked)
  • 1 packet of onion bhajis
  • Cooked pie cups
  • Chilled chicken tikka mix

Fill the pie cups generously with the chicken tikka mix, brush all over the top with the beaten egg and place an onion bhaji on top the. Bake 160oc till the cooked through and the bhaji is crispy and golden brown. Serve with mango chutney.   

Chris Brown
About Chris Brown
Sous Chef of SK Foods.
Your food. Our Passion.