Chai-spiced apple and raisin samoosas

I know this recipe has an odd name that probably makes you think it’s fiddly and difficult to make. It’s not. I had filo pastry left over from making the Moroccan lentil pie, and I had a bag of apples so I just made this up on the spot. It’s really easy to make, and it’s low on fat and sugar too. Serve with Greek yoghurt and honey.

apple samoosas resized

5 apples, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 tsp honey
Big handful of raisins or sultanas
Handful of slivered almonds
½ tsp cinnamon
2 chai teabags
250 g filo pastry
Melted butter

Heat the oven to 180 C.

Make a strong cup of chai tea with the two teabags. Heat a small knob of butter in a non stick pan. Add the apples and sautee until they start to stick. Add ¾ of the cup of tea and turn the heat up. Add the honey, cinnamon and raisins and let the apples cook until all the liquid has evaporated.

To assemble the samoosas, use half a sheet of filo pastry for each one. Tear the sheet down the middle breadthways. Put a two tablespoons of apple mixture in one corner of a half-sheet about an inch away from the corner. Fold the corner over so you have a fat triangle with filling in the middle. Proceed to wrap it up, keeping the triangle shape, and using a bit of melted butter to stick edges down.

Use up all the mixture – you should get around eight large samoosas. Place them on a greased baking tray and brush each one with melted butter. Bake in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until the pastry has turned golden brown.

Moroccan lentil and butternut pie

I’ve had a craving for Moroccan-spiced food recently. It probably has something to do with this wintry weather in Cape Town. Moroccan spices are deliciously warming and fragrant – perfect for autumnal suppers. I made up this pie recipe on the hop, and (if I do say so myself) it’s rather good. I served it with crispy sweet potato wedges sprinkled with chilli flakes.

moroccan lentil and butternut pie

Serves 8

500g peeled butternut, cut into small cubes
400g courgettes, grated
100g spinach
2 tins of brown lentils, rinsed and drained
2 free-range eggs
200g feta, crumbled
2 T toasted pine nuts
2 T slivered almonds
2 T each of chopped flat-leaf parsley and coriander
20 raisins
1 onion, finely chopped
2 dried apricots, finely chopped
2 heaped tsp harissa paste
1 tsp crushed garlic
Whole cumin seeds, paprika and whole coriander seeds
1 tsp honey
250g filo pastry
Melted butter

Heat the oven to 180 C. Put the butternut in a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cumin seeds and paprika. Roast until the butternut is cooked, about 40 minutes.

In the meantime, put the grated courgette into a colander and sprinkle with some salt. Leave over the sink for about 20 minutes and then squeeze to drain the excess water.

Fry the onion in some olive oil until it starts to soften and then add the harissa paste, garlic and a pinch each of cumin and coriander seeds. If you like heat, add a good pinch of dried chilli flakes. Fry for a minute or two and then add the courgette. Fry until the courgette is softened, and then add the lentils. Turn up the heat at this point to burn off all the water. Cook the lentils for a few minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach until it’s wilted.

Combine the eggs, honey, apricots, raisins, feta, almonds, pine nuts and herbs and mix together with the lentils.

Brush a bit of melted butter on the bottom of a large casserole dish and lay down a sheet of filo pastry. Brush a bit of melted butter on top of the sheet and put another one on top. Repeat until you have four sheets on top of each other. Pour in the butternut cubes and spread across the base of the pie. On top of this pour in the lentil mixture and spread evenly. Now comes the fun part – scrunch up sheets of filo and cover up the top of the pie to make the ‘crust’. Brush the sheets with melted butter. Place in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown.