Spiced seafood pie

A twist on the potato-topped favourite, this fish pie is inspired by the curries of south India. Home-made rough puff pastry is worth the extra time but ready-rolled or mash work well too.

Preparation Time: 40 minutes, plus chilling and cooling
Cooking Time: 50 minutes

Total Time = 1 hour 30 minutes, plus chilling and cooling

Serves: 4-6


1. For the pastry, put the flour in a large bowl and add the slices of butter. Use a palette or blunt-edged knife to coat the butter pieces in flour. Add 5 tbsp cold water and continue to mix with the palette knife until it starts to clump together. Use your hands to bring together into a soft but not sticky dough, adding a little more water if needed. Shape into a block then wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

2. Dust the work surface with flour, then roll out the dough to a 0.5cm-thick rectangle. With one of the short edges parallel to you, fold the bottom third of the pastry up to cover the middle, then fold the top third down. Use the rolling pin to seal the pastry then give it a quarter turn. Repeat this rolling and folding process 3 more times. Wrap in foil or reusable food wrap and chill for 30 minutes, until firm.

3. Meanwhile, make the filling: Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves; cook for about 1 minute, until they start to sizzle and pop. Add the onion, garlic and ginger; cook for 12-15 minutes, until soft. Stir in the turmeric and chilli powder, followed by the tomatoes; cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the cornflour then add the coconut cream and peas. Cook for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened; season. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 220˚C, gas mark 7. Roll out the pastry to just larger than a 24-26cm diameter pie dish. Tip the curry sauce into the pie dish; stir in the raw fish and prawns. Top with the pastry, using a little beaten egg to stick it to the edge or lip of the dish. Trim with a sharp knife, crimp the edges and create a small hole in the centre. Use any pastry offcuts to cut out decorations, such as little fish. Brush the pastry with beaten egg, use it as a glue to stick on the decorations, then glaze these too. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden, the fish is opaque and flakes easily and the prawns are pink and opaque. Serve with lemon wedges and greens such as pak choi, if liked.

Recipe courtesy of Waitrose and Partners. Get your ingredients for this recipe at Waitrose in Putney Exchange Shopping Centre, Putney, London.

Spiced seafood pie


1 tbsp vegetable or groundnut oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
8 fresh curry leaves * (or 12 dried)
1 large onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
10g fresh root ginger, grated
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp hot chilli powder
3 medium tomatoes (about 250g), deseeded and chopped
2 tsp cornflour
160ml can coconut cream
120g frozen peas
260g pack cod, salmon and smoked haddock
180g raw extra large king prawns

175g plain flour, plus extra to dust
130g salted butter, cut into small slices and chilled
1 egg, beaten, to glaze

*(Available in selected stores)