Chicken Balti Pies – Hab Shifa

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Chicken Balti Pies


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 kg chicken thigh fillet, cut into 3 cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 long green chilli, finely chopped
  • 10 curry leaves (see Note)
  • 375 ml (1½ cups) chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 6 sheets puff pastry
  • 1egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • buttered peas and tomato sauce, to serve


Cooling time 30 minutes

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in ginger and garlic, and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add spices and stir for 1 minute, then add chicken, tomato paste and chilli and cook, stirring to coat in spices, for 6 minutes or until chicken is browned all over. Add curry leaves and stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until stock has almost completely reduced. Add flour and stir for 1 minute or until thickened and sauce is absorbed. Remove from heat and cool.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Cut out 4 x 12 cm rounds from pastry and use to line 4 x 9 cm pie tins. Divide filling among each. Use remaining pastry to cut out 4 x 11 cm rounds. Cover pies with pastry rounds, crimping edges to seal. Brush with eggwash and scatter with nigella seeds. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Serve with buttered peas and tomato sauce.


Curry leaves are available from select greengrocers and Asian food shops.