Let’s get any confusion out of the way right from the start. Courgettes are known in some countries, such as USA as Zucchini, which I guess is of Italian derivation. In the UK we use the French name courgette.
This is another recipe from Nigella’s website. I usually try to use those recipes that say ‘posted by Nigella’, meaning that it is one of her recipes, rather than one posted by users of the site. I don’t intend any slur on those recipes, but experience has shown that Nigella’s own recipes work very well, if followed correctly.
This bake is somewhat of a departure for me, being a savoury bake. It is also the first where I have not made everything myself. I bought in the filo pastry. It is just too much effort to make my own, particularly as I am a novice baker. So, apologies for the cheat, but I am sure most people buy in their filo.
This pie turned out very well, and was just a wonderful lunch when we ate it. It does look a little messy when cut open, but that is the nature of the filling, rice, chickpeas, courgettes etc. I highly recommend this pie to anyone who wants something different from time to time.
I have two photos to share this time. Firstly the pie after it came out of the oven, and secondly after it had been cut open.
- ½ teaspoon cumin(seeds or powder)
- 1 small onion (finely diced)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 3 plump courgettes
- 125 grams basmati rice
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- 2 x 400 grams tins chickpeas (drained)
- 100 grams melted butter
- 200 grams filo pastry
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6/400ºF and put in a baking sheet.
- Gently fry the cumin seeds/powder and onion in the olive oil until the onion’s soft. Add the turmeric and coriander. Dice the courgettes (unpeeled), add them to the onion mixture, and cook on a fairly high heat to prevent the courgettes becoming watery. When they are soft but still holding their shape, add the rice and stir well, letting the rice become well coated in the oil.
- Add the stock 100ml / ½ cup at a time, stirring while you do so. When all the liquid has been absorbed the rice should be cooked, so take it off the heat, stir in the chick peas and check the seasoning.
- Brush the insides of a 22cm / 9 inch springform tin with some of the melted butter. Line the bottom and sides of the tin with 3/4 of the filo, buttering each piece as you layer. Leave a little filo overlapping the sides, and keep 3-4 layers for the top. Carefully put in your slightly cooled filling, and then fold in the overlaps. Butter the last layers of filo and scrunch on top of the pie as a covering.
- Brush with a final coat of butter, and put in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the filo is golden and the middle hot. Check this by inserting a slim, sharp-bladed knife (or cake-tester). If, when you remove it, it feels hot when you press it against your wrist, the pie’s ready.