Tiny version of another favourite



Mini veggie pies with basil cream sauce and smoked cheese

I’m not going to write too much before I introduce you to the recipe for this dish simply because this one is a little elaborate to make. But don’t be discouraged because even though this recipe is time-consuming, its really worth the effort. And yes, be prepared for second, third and even fourth helpings!

The idea behind this dish was simple – for mom’s birthday I wanted to make something that she would like and we were having people in the evening so I wanted something that would be easy for people to pick and eat with minimal fuss. This dish was born out of my mom’s fondness for baked vegetables and the broccoli-mushroom pie that I’d once made, I used a similar recipe for the pie crust but this time around I made them smaller, by baking them in a muffin mould instead of the usual pie dish.

For the pie crust:
2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 1/4 tsp of baking powder
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tsp of dried herbs
Salt to taste
Cold water

In a mixing bowl, put the whole wheat flour, baking powder, herbs and salt together. Make a well in the centre of this mixture and pour in the olive oil, use the tips of your fingers to combine the mixture together until it begins to resemble cookie crumbs. Now slowly add the cold water and mix to form a smooth dough. Wrap this dough in cling film and allow it to rest in the fridge for about three hours.

Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out to about 1/4 inch thick. Divide the dough into equal circular portions and fit it into the greased muffin moulds. If there’s some extra dough you can either trim it or fold it to make a patterned rim for the pie mould/crust. Prick all over with a fork and bake for about 10 minutes at 160 degrees celsius or until the crust has firmed up a little. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool down until they reach room temperature.

The pie crusts/moulds cooling down

For the filling:
1 small broccoli, cut into small pieces
100 gms of baby corn, peeled and chopped
2 onions, chopped
1 yellow zucchini, chopped
2 bell peppers of different colours, de-seeded and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced

For the sauce:
2 cups of milk
3 tbsp of whole wheat flour
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp of butter
2 tbsp of grated cheese, I used regular Amul cubes
Salt to taste
A handful of basil leaves, shredded

Heat some butter and olive oil in a pan and when it begins to sizzle add the garlic and onion to this, saute well until it turns golden brown. Now add the flour to this and cook on a low flame until it begins to change colour, slowly add the milk while stirring continuously to prevent any lumps from forming. Adjust the salt, add the cheese and allow the sauce to bubble for a while. Now add the rest of the vegetables to this and allow it to simmer for a minute, adjust the seasoning, add the basil leaves, turn off the flame, cover the pan and allow the veggies to cook in the remaining heat. Add the peppers to this just before baking otherwise they will overcook and become too soggy.

To proceed:
Fill in the pie crusts with the vegetables in cream sauce and top with the grated smoked cheese. I have some of this that a friend got me from Amsterdam, you can use Parmesan or Cheddar cheese instead too. Bake for about 10-12 minutes at 160 degrees celsius or until the cheese has melted and the sides of the pie crust have begin to turn a golden-brown. Remove from the oven and serve hot.

You can’t stop at just one!

* You can use all-purpose flour/maida in this recipe instead of whole wheat flour. Use any combination of veggies you like – throw in some mushroom, sweet corn or even bacon bits to suit your taste.
* To make the cream sauce a little richer, add 1/4 cup of fresh cream and reduce the milk to 1 cup.
* Leftover pie filling is good for stuffing wraps or sandwiches. We just warmed it and ate it with toasted bread for breakfast the next day!

I’m sending this off to Radhika’s wonderful I love baking event

And also to the Bake Fest started by Vardhini and hosted by Sumedha this month


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