Masala chicken pie

Masala chicken pie

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(27 ratings)

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 nutritious 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 breasts
  • 2 onions, 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 cloves, 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)
    Coconut milk in a glass, with half a coconut

    Coconut milk

    ko-ko-nut mill-k

    Coconut milk is not the slightly opaque liquid that flows from a freshly opened coconut –…

  • 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
    Coconut milk in a glass, with half a coconut

    Coconut milk

    ko-ko-nut mill-k

    Coconut milk is not the slightly opaque liquid that flows from a freshly opened coconut –…

  • 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, questions and tips

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19th Feb, 2018
Fab recipe, full of flavour and easy to make. A keeper!
13th Jan, 2017
This dish takes a bit of effort but so worth it. It's absolutely beautiful. Full of flavour and a great family dish, highly recommend you try, it's worth the effort. Enjoy
Frantic Flapjack
17th Nov, 2016
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.
2nd Nov, 2016
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.
20th Sep, 2013
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
17th May, 2013
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.
25th Apr, 2013
8th Apr, 2013
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.
2nd Apr, 2013
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!
17th Mar, 2013
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.


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