Masala chicken pie

Prep: 15 mins - 20 mins Cook: 1 hr, 30 mins


Serves 6
A Bombay potato-topped coconut curry bake that's healthy and low-fat. Snuggle up with some guilt-free comfort food

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal414
  • fat10g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs53g
  • sugars12g
  • fibre9g
  • protein30g
  • salt1.2g
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  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 skinless chicken breast
  • 2 onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • finger-length piece ginger, grated



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 3 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tbsp medium curry powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp black or brown mustard seed
  • 2 tsp white or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar (white or brown)



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 150ml light coconut milk (buy a 400ml can- you'll need more for the topping)
  • 1 large red pepper, deseeded and cut into large chunks
  • 1 large green pepper, deseeded and cut into large chunks
  • ½ a small bunch coriander, leaves roughly chopped, stalks reserved (see below)

For the topping

  • 1½ kg floury potato, cut into very large chunks



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 150ml light coconut milk
  • 1 tsp turmeric



    Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…

  • juice 1 lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

  • stalks from ½ a small bunch coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp kalonji seeds (also known as nigella or onion seeds )
  • naan bread, to serve (optional)


  1. Heat a deep frying pan or flameproof casserole dish and add 2 tsp of the oil. Brown the chicken breasts quickly but well on both sides, then remove to a plate. Turn down the heat and add the remaining oil, the onions, ginger and garlic. Fry gently until soft. Add the spices and cook for a few mins, stirring.

  2. Stir in the vinegar, sugar, tomatoes and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and bubble for 10 mins. Roughly chop the chicken breasts and stir into the pan with any chicken juices and the peppers. Simmer for another 20 mins until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce reduced a little. Take off the heat, stir in the coriander leaves and season to taste – it will need a good seasoning.

  3. To make the topping, put the potatoes in a big pan of water, bring to the boil, then boil until cooked – 10-15 mins depending on how big your chunks are. Drain really well, then tip back into the pan and steam-dry for a few mins.

  4. Add the coconut milk and turmeric to the pan, and mash really well. Season with the lemon juice and some salt, then stir through the spring onions and coriander stalks.

  5. Spoon the chicken masala into a baking dish. Dollop on spoonfuls of mash to cover, then sprinkle over the kalonji seeds. Can be covered and chilled for up to 2 days (or frozen for up to a month).

  6. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and bake for 25-30 mins (or 45 mins from chilled) until hot through and crisping on top. Serve with naan bread, if you like.

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Comments (19)

Frantic Flapjack's picture

This was well received but I chopped the chicken breast into pieces before browning. I don't know why the recipe states brown the whole breast and then chop up.

gajowood's picture

Tastes great.
But the recipe (quantities) and sealing/browning whole chicken breasts and then cutting up is just weird.
I'd take this as an idea and do your own thang.

Jenneil1's picture

Have to say this was good but deffo not 5 stars. Took me a while to get my head around mash potato and curry! Nice for something different tho.

kathryndonna's picture

I certainly didn't find the dish bland, I used a hot Madras curry mix and the chicken base was lovely and would be good with just rice or naan. The potato topping was good too but there was something about it that didn't work as a whole. Great component parts but crossing a curry with shepherds pie didn't really do it for me. That said, it all went.

pammiejay's picture

Have to say I agree with the comments about this dish being bland, despite adding all the spices etc and seasoning as directed. Its lacking something. Its nice, just not great. If I had the time again, I would much rather make the Chicken Biryani Bake (from this GoodFood website)which I find far tastier.

dishymummy's picture

This is a tale of two halves. I have to agree in the main with emma4 above. Despite having seasoned both the curry and the mash separately very well, the finished meal was disappointingly bland. I know that the masala tasted lovely on it's own so I can only suggest that the mash somehow suppressed the flavours coming through. Maybe this is why you never see curry and mash on any pub menu?
On the other hand the texture and the presentation of the pie was spot on and my husband actually loved it! Unfortunately I won't be making this again. Give me curry and rice or half and half anytime!

emmaleg's picture

I'm a little baffled as to why everyone else thinks this is an amazing dish - it was really quite bland, even after adding what seemed like a ton of salt. The curry base was ok, I would possibly make that again to serve with rice/naan bread but I wouldn't make the pie again.

melaniespiteri's picture

I cooked this a couple of weeks ago and I was quite impressed by how good this was..and so healthy too! I only used 2 chicken breasts (because that is all I had in the freezer), but added more veg, mainly broccoli. A big hit in my household...will definitely do again and will use same ratio of chicken and veg.

paulw1061's picture

This an amazing recipe and a fabulous pie! We made the ingredients as per the recipe but split this into two pie dishes. Four generous portions, which could comfortably feed six. This recipe also gives an amazing base for other curry dishes, adapted for individual tastes.

wilgarsrecipes's picture

Delicious & wasn't too spicy for the kids.

pettle's picture

Yum yum yum yum - no more said!

rachelmiddleton's picture

Excellent! Especially loved the coriander stalks in the potato topping!

lizzafezza's picture

Really tasty dish. Have even done just the masala with rice which was nice too.

pipmanley's picture

Heaven on a plate, definately do it again and again

ahwardil's picture

Really yummy and popular by all - only 11 points if your on weight watchers

sywookes's picture

A brilliant dinner party dish as all the effort is done before guests arrive. It's really yummy and looks rather impressive when you pull it out from the oven.

cooking4grandma's picture

I made this for a dinner party as I could prepare it in advance. Everyone loved it and wanted the recipe. Will definitely make it again.

vintageabbie's picture

this dish is absolutely delicious, it was the first thing I tried in last months magazine, and it was just perfect - really interesting use of potatoes, and there was so much flavour with just the right amount of heat. A must try!

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