I must admit, this is one of those dishes I only make a few times a year. I am not sure why I wait for so long between servings, as my family adore them. They are not even particularly hard to make, but it can be time consuming.
1 large potatoe
1 slice of a large sweet potato
1 slice of pumpkin
1 cup frozen peas
1 brown onion
1 stalk celery
Sprinkle of mustard seeds, tumeric, cumin, ground coriander
garlic to taste
Jug full of hot water or vegie stock.
Packet of puff pastry
- Chop all vegetables into small bite size pieces. In a frying pan, add a little oil and the onions. After a few minutes, add the spices and garlic, cooking until the onions are translucent and the spices are aromatic. Add the remaining vegetables and cover with water. Cook on a moderate heat with the lid on until the potatoes are cooked. You will need to monitor it carefully and add water as needed – you don’t want them to dry out, but you don’t want to make it into soup. Towards the end of the cooking process, reduce the water content without letting the vegetables burn.
- Defrost the pastry until it is easy to work with, but not totally thawed. Using a knife, cut each sheet into quarters. Turning the sheet on the diagonal (to form diamonds instead of squares) spoon some mixture into the bottom corner of each quarter. Fold the top down to form a triangle, and seal the edges with a fork. Stab the top layer in the centre with a fork to create a steam vent before placing on the oven tray.
- Carefully coat each triangle with a milk wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds before placing in a moderate oven for 20 – 30 minutes.
- Allow to cook slightly before serving. My family loves a range of sauces with them (tomato, curry, sweet chilli) but I have to admit I am partial to mango chutney – nom nom
- Be very careful not to over cook the vegetables. You want them to retain their shape and integrity and not collapse. See step 2 photo above for guidance.
- Care should be taken while they bake as they go from white to burnt in a heart beat! Keep an eye on them and adjust the times as needed.
- Taste the vegie mixture while cooking (prior to making up the triangles). Adjust spices as needed.
- My Nana made a similar dish when I was a child which she called “cottage pie”. It was nothing like cottage pie, and I think she struggled to find an Australian word to do it justice. As is typical in Maltese cuisine, she would add a tin of “Hamper Corn Beef” and allow the beef to spread through the mixture. It adds a delicious unique taste that is quite typically Maltese and I recommend giving that variation an attempt!
- I have to admit that tonight’s dinner was made so much easier by the help of my truly awesome husband. To speed up the process, he peels veggies while I chop, and he does the milk washes and sesame seed sprinkling while I construct the triangles. This makes life a lot easier if you can organise a sort of construction line. (We actually do this quite often – its a little quality time that we both enjoy.)