Almond and Onion Chilli Puff

An unusual first course with an Indian flavour. It is easy to make but looks beautiful as the delicious spiced filling of onions and nuts tumbles out of the golden glazed puff pastry case. You can make it in advance and re-heat it or serve it almost cold which tastes very good too. A bowl of natural yoghurt to use as a sauce goes well.


  • 1 lb puff pastry (450 g)
  • 3–4 large onions
  • 2–3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼–½ level teaspoon chilli powder – to taste
  • just under 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 oz sultanas (50 g)
  • 2–3 oz whole blanched almonds (50–75 g)
  • handful fresh mint or parsley leaves – chopped roughly
  • 1 small egg yolk
  • salt


Make the filling first. Peel and chop the onions. Fry them gently in the oil until they are soft and transparent. Stir in the spices, a sprinkling of salt, sultanas and the lemon juice. Transfer mixture to a bowl to cool. Heat another small spoonful of oil in the flying pan and toss the almonds very briefly in it until they go golden brown. Mix them into the onion mixture and lastly stir in the chopped mint or parsley leaves. When the mixture is cold cut the pastry in half and roll out two rounds about 8–9 in (20–23 cm) diameter – you can use a plate as a guide – and about in (3 mm) thick. Lay one round on a damp baking tray or large ovenproof dish. Pile the onion filling on this pastry round leaving 1 in (2.5 cm) uncovered round the edges. Moisten this edge and place the other round of pastry on top and press down the edges to seal. Decorate with pastry trimmings and brush all over with egg yolk. Bake the pie in the centre of a pre-heated oven at Gas 8 (450°F/230°C) for 15 minutes and then Gas 6 (400°F/200°C) for a further 15 minutes. Serve hot or almost cold with a bowl of plain yoghurt as a sauce if liked.