Chicken Curry Pie with Brown Butter Mash or Cardamon Mash

Chicken Curry Pies with Brown Butter Mash Or with Cardamon Mash

It seems I’m known for my pies be it sweet or savoury, this recipe has been updated after being on The Taste


which I’m happy to say it won me immunity and an accolade of Best Dish from the amazing Michael Caines for the Comfort Food Episode.

The Taste Episode 3 ….Comfort Food and Pie by Debbie

Pies are a family favourite and we truly believe in our house made well pretty much anything can be made into pie!

The sticky toffee pudding pie is now a truly infamous pie and will also be featuring at the Bolton Food Festival Gala Dinner that I’m part of which is sure exciting but for now back to Chicken curry pie and it’s lovely additions
As with all my recipes I truly believe if you prep, plan, weigh out , get organised it makes you a better cook and tidier one too.


  • Rolling Pin
  • Bowls x 4
  • Spice grinder  ( I use a coffee grinder!), or a pestle and mortar, or rolling pin and tea-towel or use pre-ground spices
  • Pie cases ( i use loose bottom ones)  or pie tin individuals or large pie dish if doing 1 pie
  • Cling Film
  • Frying Pan/ Saucepan
  • Knives ( make sure sharp, more accidents happen from blunt knives than sharp ones)
  • Can opener
  • Masher or Moule or Sieve
  • Potato Ricer
  • Piping bags

Ingredients ( remember to get all weighed out, ready )

Pastry – this is my standard shortcrust pastry mix which depending on what pie I am making add a different seasoning to it to compliment the pie fillings)

Shortcrust Cumin Pastry

  • 200g Plain Flour
  • 100g Unsalted Butter ( I only use butter , you may choose to split 1/2 butter , 1/2 lard)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp Ground Cumin Seeds ( I ground my spices as I need them , as there flavour is better and fresher , better impact . its fine to use pre ground but i truly do believe investing in a spice grinder – I actually use a coffee grinder and clean between grinding with rice!)
  • Approx 50 ml water
  • Pastry brush
  • Baking Beans or dried beans or Rice for blind baking
  • 1 egg whisked

Pie filling

  •  Chicken thighs you will 2 per pie this recipe is for 4 pies or one large one  (boned and skinned – if your boning yourself keep the bones for stock and use the skin- you can make crispy chicken skin flavour it with coriander flavoured salt ( handful of fresh coriander blend add 1 tsp of ground coriander seeds add to your salt , then rub into chicken skin both sides, pop into oven flat and cook for 10-15 mins until crispy   this could be served with your pie an added dimension) 
  • Garlic 3 cloves crushed and chopped
  • coconut oil x 3 tbsp or ghee
  • Bombay Onions x 2 or if you cant find 3  shallots  ( i like their sweetness) or red onion is fine
  • 2 x 3 tsps Garam Masala
  • 2 x 1 tsp Cumin seeds ground
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1tsp Zatar ( this is a pre blended spice and adds a little extra depth to your curry, its now available from most supermarkets
  • 1tsp
  • 2 curry leaves
  • 75ml chicken stock
  • 1 tin of coconut milk

Mash Topping – Brown Butter Mash or Coriander Mash

  • 1 kg good quality white potatoes – or even sweet potatoes
  • 150g Brown Butter ( melt your butter in a pan- watch it – as it turns brown you will smell its nuttiness remove  and put pan into a cold water bath immediately to cool , allow to cool and then pour into a cold dish or bowl ready for use) 
  • Salted butter ( I use a lot!) you use as you prefer to taste
  • Ground salt and Pepper
  • Green Cardamon pods x 8 crack open and grind until powder

Method and How to

Remember to taste your food at each stage of cooking to make sure you have the right flavours , add more seasoning to your personal taste. In professional kitchens they always have a jar with water in with tasting spoons in so always clean and ready to taste

  1. Start by preparing your pastry as it needs to sit and chill for 30 -45 minutes prior to rolling out
  2. Put butter and flour and spices into bowl and rub into breadcrumbs
  3. Slowly add the water and then mix together until a dough , i use a fork so that as little contact is made to make the pastry as light as possible
  4. If your using a food processor to make the pastry put all the ingredients in and mix with dough hook until it turns into dough
  5. Turn out the dough and wrap in cling film handling as little as possible , pop in the fridge to chill for a minimum of 30 minutes
  6. Put the potatoes in a salted pan of water and medium simmer until soft       ( Chef Ludo method is to cook full with skin on, this tales about 45 minutes to create, it stops the water penetrating the potatoes and gives a fluffier mash)
  7. Next is making the pie filling I roast the chicken thighs first to add a depth of flavour – so season with salt, pepper, freshly ground cumin and garam masala and roast for 15 minutes on a baking sheet at 180
  8. Whilst the chicken is roasting prepare the pie liquid – put the garlic,shallots or diced onions, and all the spices with the coconut oil or ghee into a saucepan and on a low heat allow to infuse about 5 minutes
  9. Once all the spices and onion and garlic are soft and infused then pour in the coconut milk and stock allow to reduce slightly ( this will thicken your sauce so its right consistency for the pies)
  10. By now the Chicken thighs should be roasted and you can allow to cool enough for you to handle and cut up into bite size pieces
  11. Put the diced roasted chicken into your sauce mix and put aside
  12. Now take your pastry out of your the fridge and roll out into approx 3-5mm thickness using your pie dish (if making one pie) or your individual pie tins as templates cut out the size to fit and place in your pie tins, with a fork prick the pastry so it doesn’t rise
  13. Place a piece of greaseproof paper on top of the pastry and then add dried beans, rice or pie weights to keep the pastry flat whilst you blind bake the pastry
  14. Put into the oven at 180 for 10 minutes then remove all beans and then brush whisked egg over the base and  bake for another 5-8 minutes until browned and crisp, put aside when baked
  15. Whilst pastry is blind baking you can prepare the mash potatoes, if you cooked “Chef Ludo” method with skins on , run under cold water to allow you to peel the skin off , then mash otherwise mash until most lumps are out, add your brown butter at this stage or your freshly ground cardamon and butter. I then push my potato through a moule/ sieve/ potato ricer to make it super smooth put aside for assembly of your pie
  16. Now with each pie put your chicken curry  into the pie cases until full, then with your mashed potato ( I use a piping bag) either pipe your potato on or just spoon on whatever your most comfortable with.
  17. Then either pop into the oven to brown the mash , or chill until ready to serve and pop into the oven ( once chilled they will need to bake at 18o for 10-12 minutes check internal temp should be min of 65 degrees)


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