“For a light, crumbly pastry, forget using a food processor – go old-school and use your hands. The addition of chickpea flour gives an extra crumbly-ness to this pastry and the turmeric adds a pop of colour and extra spice. You will need to make the filling in advance, so that it's cooled when you make your pies, otherwise the heat will soften the pastry. These pies can also be filled and refrigerated 24 hours before baking. ”
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By Annie Rigg
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Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan. Peel and finely chop the onion and cook over a medium heat until soft but not coloured. Peel, crush and add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
Add all of the spices and dried herbs to the pan, then cook for another 30 seconds until aromatic.
Add the lamb mince and cook over a high heat until browned all over. Add the tomato purée, cook for 1 minute, then tip in the tinned tomatoes, stock and sugar, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.
Season with sea salt and black pepper, stir to combine and cook over a medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, or until the lamb is tender, the sauce has thickened and almost all of the liquid has evaporated.
Remove the pan from the heat. Pick and finely chop the mint leaves, then add along with the chickpeas and pine nuts, then season to taste and leave to cool.
To make the pastry, sift both flours into a bowl, then add the turmeric and 3 teaspoons of salt. Dice the butter and rub into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Combine the vinegar with 180ml of iced water and make a well in the middle of the flour mixture. Add three-quarters of the vinegar water and mix with a knife until the dough starts to come together, adding the rest of the liquid, if needed.
Very lightly knead the dough until smooth, flatten into a disc, wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 20 minutes.
Divide the pastry into 15 even pieces and roll out each one on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of about 3mm. Cut the pastry into 12 to 13cm discs using a saucer or small bowl as a guide.
Lay the pastry discs on a work surface and add a heaped tablespoon of the lamb mixture to each pasty. Brush the edges with water and fold the pastry over to make neat semi-circles. Pinch the edges together and crimp between your fingers.
Arrange the pies on a baking tray. Beat the egg with the milk, then brush over the top and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Brush the pasties with more egg wash, sprinkle with the za’tar and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked and the filling is hot through.