These spicy phyllo potato tartlets are so good that my family (all carnivores) enjoy them every time I make them. I no longer regard vegetables as side dishes only – thanks to my sister’s boyfriend who has progressed gradually over the years from the carnivore stage – to white meat only – to vegetarian. So I have had to search for some interesting veg dishes that can be served as main courses for whenever I have him around for a meal. It has opened up a whole new dimension.
1 packet (200gr) phyllo pastry, defrosted
15ml sesame seeds (optional)
1.3kg potatoes, cooked in the jackets and peeled
About 80gr butter
10ml grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
5ml curry powder
5ml ground cumin
5ml ground coriander
2 green chillies, seeded and chopped
20ml roughly chopped fresh coriander
Juice of 1 lemon
200gr young spinach, washed
Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Filling Dice the potatoes. Heat the butter and sauté the ginger, garlic and onions until soft. Add the spices and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the potatoes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chillies, coriander, salt and lemon juice. Blanch the spinach in boiling water until wilted and press to remove any excess liquid.
Pastry Brush the phyllo pastry sheets with melted butter and divide each sheet into four. Line 12 large muffin tin hollows or ramekins each with 4-5 layers of the phyllo pastry. ( I used a muffin tin – I brushed 1 sheet of phyllo pastry with melted butter, folded the sheet into half, brushed it with melted butter and folded into half and placed it into the muffin tin hollow).
Divide half the potato mixture and all the spinach among the muffin tin hollows. Spoon the remaining potato mixture on top. Fold the phyllo pastry over the filling, brush with melted butter and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until brown and crisp.
Serve as a starter or a light meal with a green salad and raita made with plain yoghurt flavoured with a little chopped mint, garlic and ground cumin.