Thursday, 13 January 2011

Garam Masala Swede Filo Pie

I made this Garam Masala Swede Filo pie a few hours ago. I was in desperate need of some kitchen therapy. What began with some vigorous mashing of the swede ended up with some gentle basting of these filo (phyllo) pastry sheets, and in just moments I was magically transformed from an erratic woman to one of utter calmness.
This recipe did not come from one of my cook books. It was inspired by Garam masala Swede cakes and Garam masala Swede Soup that I've made in the past. I think this is my way of confessing that I actually like Swede aka turnip or rutabaga in other parts of the English speaking world. Well made this way I certainly do like it. The natural sweetness of this Scottish swede takes on the spices of South Asia happily.
You could in fact call this 'Garam masala Swede filo pie' a lazy mans samosa pie, or in this case a lazy womans samosa. A samosa is a stuffed pastry snack traditionally filled with spiced vegetables found in South Asian countries. Instead of making dainty individual triangular samosas, I made a huge one that can be sliced and shared at the table. Using paper thin filo pastry also cut out the pallaver of making pastry from scratch. It was a pleasant change from the usual pastry crunch, this was light and flaky. Enjoy with a generous dollop of brown sauce, it contains the secret ingredient of tamarind that goes well with spicy pastries.
I made this pie in a 10 inch fluted tart tin. You can just make out the pastry on the side of the pie.
Garam Masala Swede Filo Pie
Serves 4 or 6
You will need a 10 inch pie tin or similar
Medium Swede, peeled and chopped
400g potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
120g - 160g frozen peas
2 shallots or 1 medium onion, finely sliced
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil plus extra for filo pastry
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon garam masala or to taste
1 teaspoon chilli flakes or 1 red chilli, sliced (remove seeds if you wish)
Salt to taste
Packet of filo pastry
MethodIn one pot, either steam or cook the swede in salted water for 20 minutes or until soft. Drain then mash and set aside.
In another pot, either steam or cook the potato cubes in salted water until cooked. Drain and set aside.
In another pot, boil the peas until tender. Drain and set aside.
In a wide pan, slowly fry the shallots and garlic in the oil, until soft and caramelized – this will take about 15 minutes. Halfway through the process, add the spices and cook for a few minutes more.
Now in a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Season with salt to taste.
Begin lining the tart tin with individual filo pastry sheets. Allow the filo pastry to flop over the sides. Brush each layer gently with olive oil keep doing this until you have about 5 to 6 layers. Now gently spoon in the Garam Masala vegetable mix. (You may have some filling left over. Just eat as a cooks treat! ). Fill right to the top, smoothing gently as you go so that it is compact. Now top with the remaining filo pastry, again brushing each layer with oil. When all the filo pastry has been used up, begin pulling the filo pastry that is flopping to the sides to cover the top, coat generously with olive oil. Don't worry if the top is a little uneven, the ruffled effect adds a bit of character to the pie.
Bake in oven at Gas mark 4 for 20 - 30 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately.
Updated 21 April and 18th January 2011
This recipe was made by Torwen and Vintage Mum. Please follow this link to view.


  1. I'm with you on the definitions of turnips and swedes! My Dad alway used to call swedes "Rudy Bakers" (Rutabagas). I think you're right in saying they go well with oriental spices like garam masala.

  2. This pie look incredible! I love rutabaga but never saw a pie made with it!

  3. What a beautiful pie! This makes me proud - I love the use of phyllo for any sort of pie. I am also to happy to know what a Swede is. :)

  4. This is something I would love to the flakyness of phylo with the filling....I love turnips & never knew that rutabaga means turnip only...sadly I'm the only one in this house who's a big fan of turnips...

  5. This filo pie looks scrumptious. I am greek and filo dough is always in my freezer. I am definitely going to give this one a try!!!
    Happy New Year and thanks for stopping by my blog!

  6. I have only ever roasted rutabagas with other root vegetables - how little imagination. I very much like the idea of a giant samosa!

  7. You have unique ingredients that I'm not familiar with and I've never tried a swede, but it looks absolutely wonderful!

  8. This looks so delicious, a must try!

  9. Yes, I agree too, swedes are good with spices!

    Great pie!



  10. What a good idea I haven't the time to fiddle with little parcels will try this one.
    Will it spoil the taste if I leave out the chilli ? Thanks

  11. Thanks Mark Willis.
    I actually quite like the name "Rudy Bakers".

    Thanks you Charlie @ SweetSaltySpicy.
    I'm always trying to be creative with the vegetables I eat, especially those that I am not that keen on. so this time instead of a soup, I thought why not a pie and it was lovely.

    Thank you Ana Powell x

    Thank you so much Anna A.

    Thanks Spice.
    Please do have a got at making this. I am sure you will enjoy both the flakyness of phylo and the spiced filling.

  12. Thanks Angela.
    Please let me know how you like this fusion dish. I always have filo in my freezer to, in case i want to make some South Asian style spring rolls.

    So good to hear from you Jen S.
    Happy New Year to you.
    I am delighted to read that you like the idea of this recipe!

    Thank you so, So much Flowering Mama.

    Thanks so much GiGi.

    Thanks Alessandra.

    Thanks Cate aka vintage mum.
    So lovely to make your acquaintance.
    Nice to read that I am not the only one who sometimes doesn't have time to fiddle with little parcels.

    Its okay to leave out the chilli. The garam masala with give it some warmth. I hope you enjoy. Please do let me know if you do get to make it and how you find it.
    PS Thanks for the link to the Eccles cakes too.

  13. Thanks so much for this lovely recipe, Mangocheeks. Made essentially as written, and served with a dollop of yogurt. It was delicious and will be made again in our house.

  14. Oh Judith,
    You are so so welcome.
    Thank you so so much for letting me know you mde it. It is always a pleasure to hear from fellow readers who actually make a recipe I post and even wonderful, when I read that they liked it. I often get nervous as I know what I make is not the everyones taste. Yes a dollop of yogurt would have been a cooling accompaniment. You know you could have sstirred a little mint sauce into the yogurt to give it another flavour contrast. This is somethign my Dad would make as samosa acompaniments.

  15. Ok that's just freaky. I promised some samosas to my kid's nursery for their xmas do but then utterly failed with the dough. So as a compromised I have some filo in my freezer waiting for me to turn into samosas. Yours looks great. I'm going to try that recipe for sure.

  16. Plummy Mummy,

    This laid back version is good for a crowd. Hope you like.

    By the way Happy New Year to you.

  17. Happy New Year to you too.
    Just noticed your conversion information...that's really useful as I often look at US recipes then get stumped with amounts. I have spoons that measure cups which I have assumed are the american size but sometimes recipes don't work out so now I'll have to check against the info below.
    BTW are you still in Scotland as you mentioned before xmas that you may be moving.

  18. So glad you find it useful Plummy Mummy.
    There have been a number of times when I've thought about removing it.

    And yes, I am still here in sunny Scotland. I am certain i'll be moving somewhere down South this year as things here are not particularly good. Just don't know when....I'll keep fellow readers posted on my moves. Thank you for asking.

  19. We had this tonight :)

    In my effort to make this non spicy for the lad, who isn't into spice at all, I only used about a quarter of the chilli and half the garam marsala. it wasn't realy enough, even for Mr Bland-Food-Only-Thanks!

    We will be having it again though... very nice indeed.

  20. Thanks Anon :)

    It does need a little spice to be appreciated, but I'm glad you'll be makign it again. Thank you for letting me know.

  21. Recreated!

    It was delicious!

  22. Thanks Torwen.
    So delighted to read you found it delicious! I thought so too when I made it :)


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