There is an old saying which goes when the cat is away the mice will play. I don’t mind saying the husbands do the same thing because that is pretty much what happens to every guy after getting married (LAUGHS!!!). The husbands who go too far tend to get in trouble when their wives find out about their misdeeds. The well-behaved ones like me learn to bake delicious dishes like this garam masala spiced “Vegetable Pot Pie” and make their wives proud (LAUGHS). Now isn’t that what all the wives are going to consider a WIN-WIN for them???
The one thing I have always struggled with in the kitchen is baking which to me is quiet ironic. Baking is considered to be a science and should absolutely come naturally to me whose day job is that of a scientist. But that’s never been the case so far (CHUCKLES!!!). Over the past month or so I have been ever so determined to change that.
I conceived the recipe idea on the day wifey dear went out for brunch with her girlfriends. Basically the wives went out on their own so I was free to have the guys over at my place. Hey if the girls need to go out and have some ME-TIME then the same holds true for the guys too (RIGHT GUYS!!!). Besides I also wanted a guinea-pig to try my recipe on (JUST KIDDING!!!). The plan was to make a simple pot pie with a store-bought pie crust that I had bought a couple of days ago. The filling turned out to be simple and delicious but the crust was hard and somewhat of a disappointment.
I wasn’t going to give up so quickly so I tried this recipe one more time. But as it happens ever so often this time I overcompensated which meant the crust turned out to be way too crumbly.
They say “Third time is the charm’ and this cliche turned out to be right on the money for me. Because this spicy “Vegetable Pot Pie” with the flaky homemade pie crust turned out to be a WINNER.
The secret to a good pie crust that I learnt after reading a bit is “COLD BUTTER”. Before even mixing the butter with the flour cut it into chunks and put them back in the fridge. The next step is to pulse the flour, sugar and salt till thoroughly mixed.
Add in the chunks of butter and keep pulsing constantly like 10,20 or maybe 30 times till the dough turns crumbly in texture. The more uneven the crumbs are the better it will be. The secret here is to pulse constantly and not to process it at once.
Then in goes about 6-8tbsp of water followed by continued pulsing of the flour mixture.Slowly we start seeing the dough come together. The dough should be barely starting to hold together. Then take out the mixture and form a ball taking care not to knead the dough. Simply try and patch everything together so to speak. Wrap in clean film and refrigerate.
For the filling I simply made a roux with flour, butter and milk, spiced it with a little turmeric, chill powder and garam masala and used it to coat all the veggies.
To assemble the pie, divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll out the first part to form a circle with 12” diameter and press it down on the pie pan and trim the excess dough of the edge.
Then evenly fill the pie pan and roll the remaining dough on top to form the upper crust. Use a fork to create a tight seal between the top and bottom crust. Pinch a hole on the top crust with a fork, brush it with egg wash and then bake it at 400 F for about 40-45 minutes till golden brown on the outside.
I know y’all must be very impatient at this point to dig in to the pie. I was too so I simply dived right in, ate more than half the pie and didn’t need to eat anything for the rest of the day (LAUGHS!!!).
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- 2 cup All Purpose Flour
- 1½ sticks Butter
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 8 tbsp Ice Cold Water
- 1 cup Broccoli florets
- 1 cup mixed frozen veggies (carrot, corn, peas, beans etc)
- ½ stick Butter
- 3 tbsp All Purpose Flour
- 1 cup Milk
- ½ tsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp Red Chili Powder
- 1 ½ tsp Garam Masala
- 1 ½ tsp Amchur Powder
- 1 Egg
- Cut the butter stick in ½” pieces and keep in the refrigerator.
- In a food processor add AP flour, sugar, salt and pulse. Add the butter and pulse few times to form a crumbly mixture.
- Add 2 tbsp ice water at a time and pulse. Repeat until the dough holds together.
- Roll out the dough mixture from the food processor on a counter. Gather the mixture together to form a ball. Do not knead the dough. Divide the mixture in 2 parts. Wrap each in a plastic wrap and refrigerate till ready to use.
- Melt butter in a flat-bottom pan. When it foams add AP flour, milk and stir constantly until the mixture is smooth.
- Add all the veggies and stir to coat. Spice it with turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, amchur powder and cook for 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and garnish with cilantro.
- Preheat the oven at 400 F. Remove 1 part of pie crust from the refrigerator. Let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- Whisk egg together with 2 teaspoons water until evenly mixed. Set aside.
- Sprinkle flour on the floor. Do not knead the dough. Roll to form a 12” disk.
- Carefully transfer the dough on to pie plate. Gently press the pie dough down and to the sides of the pie plate. Use a cutter or pair of kitchen scissors to trim the edge of the pie.
- Spread the veggie mixture evenly.
- Remove 2nd part of pie crust roll it similarly as mentioned above.
- Carefully place it on the top of filling. Press the top and bottom of dough firmly together. Trim the excess. Press the edge with the fork to make a tight seal.
- Poke hole with fork in top of pot pie. Brush the top with egg wash.
- Bake the pie at 400 F for 40 minutes till golden brown.