Veggie spiral pie with spiced tomato sauce & chopped salad

Veggie spiral pie with spiced tomato sauce & chopped salad

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(8 ratings)

Prep: 50 mins Cook: 1 hr, 30 mins plus chilling

A challenge

Serves 8 - 10
Rice, feta and spinach make the filling for a savoury twist on the Moroccan dish M'hanncha - perfect for entertaining outdoors

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving (10)

  • kcal545
  • fat24g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs63g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre6g
  • protein17g
  • salt1.6g
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  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
    Coriander seed

    Coriander seed

    kor-ee-and-er seed

    The small, creamy brown seeds of the coriander plant give dishes a warm, aromatic and slightly…

  • 3 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
    Rapeseed oil

    Rapeseed oil

    If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

  • 2 onions, halved and thinly sliced



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

  • 100g green lentils
  • 300g basmati rice
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 nutmeg



    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • 400g spinach



    Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…

  • small bunch dill, finely chopped
  • small bunch parsley, finely chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • small bunch mint, finely chopped



    There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…

  • zest 2 lemon, plus juice of 1



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

  • 200g pack feta (check pack label to find a vegetarian brand), crumbled



    A creamy soft white cheese with an ancient history - nomadic tribes who needed to preserve the…

  • 2 x 270g packs filo pastry (12 sheets in total)
  • 100g butter, melted



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 1 egg, beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 1 tsp black sesame seed (or regular sesame seeds)
  • Greek yogurt, to serve

For the tomato sauce

  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomato
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar (any will do)



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

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

For the salad

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 onion, finely chopped



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

  • 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • handful parsley, chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  1. Heat a large saucepan, tip in the cumin and coriander seeds and toast for a few mins until you can smell their fragrance and they turn a shade darker, then tip into a pestle and mortar. Add the oil to the pan, then tip in the onions and cook slowly until golden and caramelised – this will take 15-20 mins. Meanwhile, bring 2 pans of water to the boil. Add the lentils to 1 pan and cook for 20 mins. Put the rice and a pinch of salt in the other pan and cook for 5 mins (it should still have a little bite). Drain both pans, and leave the lentils and rice to steam-dry.

  2. Boil the kettle. Stir the garlic into the onions and cook for 1-2 mins over a low heat. Grind the whole spices in the pestle and mortar to a fine powder and add these to the onion mixture. Grate half of the nutmeg and add to the onions with the turmeric and allspice.

  3. Put the spinach in a colander in the sink, pour over a kettle of boiling water, then rinse under cold water. Use your hands to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Finely chop the spinach and add to the onions with the herbs, lemon zest and juice and the rice, lentils and plenty of seasoning. Leave to cool before stirring through the feta.

  4. To assemble the pie, you’ll need plenty of space on your work surface – about 1 metre. Unwrap the filo and cover with a damp tea towel. Have your bowls of melted butter and beaten egg to hand, as well as a pastry brush for each. Working quickly, lay 4 sheets of filo end to end, running along the length of your work surface, and butter each piece generously, overlapping each sheet by about 10cm. Top with another 4 sheets, butter well, then repeat with 3 final sheets of filo (save the last one to cover any cracks later on.)

  5. Spoon the rice filling down the centre of the filo, leaving 5cm free on either end. Brush the egg around the edges and tuck the ends in to cover the filling. Starting from one end, roll the filo over the filling, working your way along until you have a long filo sausage. From one end, start to coil the sausage back on itself – if the pastry cracks, patch it over the hole with your reserved piece of filo. When the coil is complete, slide onto a tray lined with baking parchment, brush the top with beaten egg and sprinkle over the sesame seeds. You can now cover it loosely with cling film and chill for up to 24 hrs.

  6. When you’re ready to bake, heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Place the pie on the middle shelf and bake for 45 mins until golden and crisp. Meanwhile, tip the ingredients for the tomato sauce into a pan, season and bubble for 30 mins until rich and thick.

  7. For the salad, halve the cucumber through the centre, then cut in half lengthways and chop into small cubes. Put in a bowl, add the remaining ingredients and season well. Set aside until ready to serve.

  8. Leave the pie to cool for 20 mins before serving with the sauce, salad and a large bowl of yogurt.

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Comments, questions and tips

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21st Dec, 2017
I've made this a couple of times recently - it's really delicious and a great 'wow' dish to bring to the table when you're cooking a spread for friends. Make it more manageable time-wise by making the filling the day before, and the sauce if you like - I added some water and let it bubble away happily for an hour or so to get really mellow and sweet. I also added some little ricotta dollops on top of the rice/spinach mix before rolling up the filo, and mixed the remainder into yoghurt with lemon zest, salt and black pepper to serve with it - both seemed a good addition. And grated a little nutmeg on one of the buttered pastry layers. The reason I've not given five stars is because I couldn't coil it up into a spiral without it cracking quite badly both times - it was fine in the end with some folded up 'collars' of spare buttered filo over the cracks though. Next time I might try wrinkling the pastry up a bit lengthways before putting the filling on top - there is just not enough 'stretch' in flat pastry to form the outside curved edge... Or perhaps just make several 'tubes' lined up together.
26th Aug, 2015
Could someone explain this to me please? 'Working quickly, lay 4 sheets of filo end to end, running along the length of your work surface, and butter each piece generously, overlapping each sheet by about 10cm.' Should the filo be end-to-end or overlapping by 10cm?
29th Sep, 2015
This is how I did it and it worked out great: you lay 4 sheets of filo lengthwise, overlapping by 10 cm. I used a bit of the butter to 'glue' the ends of the sheets together. (I actually only ended up doing it with 3 sheets as I didn't have enough room for 4). You should basically have one super long rectangle. Then butter the whole thing and lay another 4 (or in my case 3) sheets over, which basically means you now have a super long rectangle with 2 layers. The third layer is done exactly the same way. Definitely keep a sheet back for patching any cracks or where it's torn. Hope that helps!
12th May, 2015
I served this to some vegetarian friends over the weekend and everyone loved it. Lovely flavours and not dry at all when served with the sauce and yogurt. Leftovers were great for lunch the next day too.
sllyst's picture
8th May, 2015
I was really looking forward to making this. The premise sounded really good and anything with feta in is usually a winner for me. The actual making it was ok but obviously fiddly with the pastry. I wouldn't recommend making it unless you're either used to filo or have a great deal of patience. The result was really disappointing though. It was dry, without much flavour and went in the bin and I rarely waste anything.
4th May, 2015
There is no mention of cucumber in the list of ingredients for the salad!!
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pommestoo's picture
3rd Jun, 2015
I found the finished 'roll' incredibly difficult to shape, even with 2 pairs of hands in use! The filling was delicious though & next time I will make it into 2 'swiss roll' shapes & screw up a couple of well buttered filo sheets on top to decorate.
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