It is what I think of as the ‘sweet’ spices in these pastries that prompt me to call them Moroccan-spiced. Maybe these spices trigger memories in me of a trip through Morocco long ago, maybe it was something I read in a book. The only pastry I remember from that teenage holiday was eaten on the rooftop of a posh hotel and claimed to feature pigeon. Forgive me, I was young and curious. This humbler version features mostly root vegetables because they are best suited to carrying these spices. We use small oval oven dishes, 10cm long, 7 cm wide and 2 cm high, to bake one generous pastry per person. The advantage of using a dish is in being able to form sides on the pastry capable of holding themselves up, and getting a smooth finish on top with the seams underneath. However, the filing is the important thing and it will be perfectly happy if the pastry is simply wrapped around it, in any shape or size, and baked. One large pie from which you slice wedges would be the next best thing. As well as the cucumber-yoghurt sauce, I would serve some couscous and something fiery hot, like chickpeas with fresh chillies. Use a thick, rich yoghurt as the cucumber will dilute it considerably. You want a thick pouring sauce, not a thin watery mess.
CHOP THE ROOTS INTO SMALL DICE and cook them in boiling water for a few minutes until just tender. Do the same with the green beans and mix them with the cooked roots in a bowl. Fry the onion and garlic in a little oil with the mustard seeds and the chilli. Add the other spices when the onion is cooked, and fry for a minute more. Pour in the cream, add the salt and orange rind, bring it to the boil and simmer for half a minute to thicken the cream. Stir this spiced cream into the vegetables and leave it to cool before adding the almonds and the egg yolk.
While the pastries are cooking, or a few hours earlier if you prefer, make the cucumber sauce. Peel the cucumber and use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds. Coarsely chop the cucumber and put it in a food processor with the garlic. Blend to a coarse puree, add the yoghurt and coriander and blend again for a few seconds, then put it in a bowl and season with salt and a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper.
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