Aubergine and panch phoran pie

Aubergine and panch phoran pie

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
2 large aubergines
2 large red peppers
3 large potatoes
3 onions
small bunch coriander
5-6 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 cm piece fresh root ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
2 teaspoons panch phoran
100g tomato puree
150-200ml water
75g butter
1 packet filo pastry, about 225 g
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Prepare the vegetables: cut the aubergines into 2 cm cubes and the red peppers into similar-sized squares. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 2 cm cubes. Halve, peel and finely slice the onions. Chop the coriander leaves and set aside.
  2. Heat 1–2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan and fry the aubergines and peppers, in batches to avoid overcrowding, over a medium heat until lightly coloured, adding more oil to the pan as necessary.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the potatoes and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, then add the onions. Cook until both are soft and lightly golden.
  4. In the meantime, peel and crush the garlic, and peel and grate the ginger. Add both to the potato mixture and cook for 1 minute. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, chilli and panch phoran and cook over a medium heat until the mustard seeds start to ‘pop’.
  5. Add the aubergine and red pepper to the pan with the tomato purée. Season well with salt and pepper and stir in enough water so it is not too thick to simmer. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 30 minutes to let the flavours develop, adding a little extra water during cooking if necessary. Take off the heat and leave to cool, then stir in the coriander. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C.
  6. Melt the butter. Pile the vegetable mixture into a rectangular baking dish, about 30 x 20 cm. Cover with 5 or 6 layers of filo pastry, brushing each sheet with melted butter and crumpling the top layer for a decorative effect. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the filling is hot and the filo is a deep golden colour and crisp.

A note on panch phoran...

  • This is a Bengali five-spice mix of cumin, fennel, nigella, fenugreek and mustard seeds.
Leiths School of food and wine
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