I grew up eating these baked pies filled with a halwa (a sweet confection) made with almonds and chick pea lentils flavoured with saffron. It was always accompanied with rice kheer (porridge) which went so well with these pies. I have been craving for these for a long time and wanted to bake them like my mom but smaller in size. They turned out better than I had imagined. My mom used to make the pie crust with ghee (clarified butter) but I wanted something light and healthy so I followed a different recipe for the pie crust which was light, flaky and good. For the halwa I followed my mom’s recipe.
For the pie dough I followed this recipe from Simple Bites. I cut down the recipe by half and I made the halwa using the exact ingredients listed below and it was just enough to use up all the dough.
Refrigerated Pie dough enough for making one 9 inch pie crust.
For the Halwa:
1/4 cup Channa dal (split chick pea lentil)
1/4 cup Almonds (peeled)
1/2 cup Sugar
2 tbs Ghee
Saffron a pinch
1. Soak the channa dal for 30 minutes after rinsing in water 3 or 4 times till the water is clear. Soak the almonds in warm water or microwave them with a little water for 30 seconds. The peels will easily come off.
2. Boil the channa dal till it gets cooked, let it cool, then grind it to a smooth paste. Grind the almonds separately to a fine paste.
3. Take a sauce pan and on medium heat add one or two cloves and 2 green cardamoms then add the ground dal and almond paste.
4. Add the sugar and keep stirring till it thickens then dd the saffron dissolved in warm milk. Stir till the milk gets absorbed and the halwa starts leaving the sides of the pan. Remove and set aside to cool.
5. Take the refrigerated pie dough and start rolling it into a fairly thick circle on a pastry board dusted with flour. Cut round shapes with a cookie cutter or a steel tumbler with a sharp rim.
6. Place some halwa in each of them, brush the edge lightly with water or egg white and close it in the shape of a half moon or turnover.
7. Press the edges with a fork to seal them then brush them with saffron water (soak a few threads of saffron in a tsp of water) to give them a coloured decorative edge.
8. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 25 – 30 minutes. When they turn lightly golden at the bottom they are done. Remove and cool on a wire wrack and enjoy with rice kheer.