Crusted Cornmeal Chickpea Potpie

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
chickpea potpie

Pies have certainly been appearing on my menu more often as the temperature shifted from hot to warm to downright chilly. Comfort foods are certainly in order, especially for the cook who also gets to enjoy the warmth of the oven and the smell of pie. Apart from the aroma of baked bread or perhaps a simmering curry, there's nothing better to stimulate the appetite and bring joy to the kitchen.

I doubt I have ever met anyone who didn't enjoy pie of some sort, whether sweet or savory. My personal preference is for the savory variety and I have been cooking and baking a few lately. I'm not one to snub my nose at a fruit pie either, but my sweet tooth is not what it used to be.

cornmeal chickpea vegetable potpie

I've made a cornmeal-crusted chili, a longtime classic that is somewhat similar with a different filling. The spicing will be familiar to cooks that are always reaching for spices that make Indian cooking so unique and appealing. Let us call this one an Indian-style fusion dish. It's quite filling and packed full of fall vegetables and filled out further with buttery soft chickpeas.

chickpea vegetable potpie filling

Any number of vegetables that you may have in your pantry or fridge crying out for attention could be included in the mix, and I bet mushrooms would have been nice, along with a bit of tomato. Not that I think the dished lacked anything at all and the mixture of vegetables I used along with the spices was even better than expected. This one pot meal would go well with a leafy green salad, a side grain dish if you wish, or an easy mushroom curry. It was surely one of those memorable meals you'll remember fondly and hopefully even make it a regular feature on the menu. If I had more ramekins on hand, I would have used those instead of the casserole dish method for a one-serving (or two!) extra special presentation for diners, but no matter, because this is one nourishing meal that I know will be a feature on the menu in my kitchen often.

As always adjust the spicing according to your taste. I do like things hot but if you are used to spicy food, I don't think the measurements here will overwhelm your heat meter.

Crusted Cornmeal Chickpea PotpieCrusted Cornmeal Chickpea Potpie
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on October 15, 2013

Spiced sweet potato and carrot with buttery soft chickpeas baked with a golden brown cornmeal crust topping — a colorful, hearty and delicious fall dinner centerpiece

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 to 40 minutes

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 2/3 cup dried chickpeas (2 cups cooked or 1 19 oz can)
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive or sesame oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 hot red or green chilies
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri or other chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 cup spelt flour or unbleached white flour
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup spelt or unbleached white flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons brown or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup milk or almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • Rinse and soak the chickpeas in enough water to cover for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a medium saucepan and cover with several inches of fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour or until the chickpeas are tender. Drain and set aside.

  • Grease a 2-quart casserole dish with butter or oil. Set aside.

  • Prepare the sweet potato and carrot by covering with water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until just tender. Drain well and set aside.

  • Heat the olive or sesame oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the onions and stir for 5 minutes until softened. Add the chilies and then toss in the ground spices. Stir for another 30 seconds and then add the flour to the pan and stir to coat the vegetables. Now slowly pour in the vegetable stock or water, whisking as you go with a wire whisk. Simmer, whisking often, until the sauce is thickened and simmering, about 3 to 4 minutes.

  • Stir in the chickpeas, sweet potato, carrot and peas, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for another few minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour this mixture into the prepared casserole dish.

  • To make the crust topping, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg if using, then whisk in the milk and oil. (If omitting the egg, whisk together the milk with the oil, adding an extra 2 teaspoons of oil). Pour this into the dry ingredients and stir until everything is just combined. Spoon the batter evenly over the filling, gently spreading with a spatula to ensure it is distributed well.

  • Bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown on top and set. Cool for 10 minutes, and serve hot or warm.

Makes 4 to 6 main servings
chickpea pie

More hearty and comforting savory pies you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Aloo Palak Paneer Pie
Indian-Style Samosa Potpie
Grape Leaf Pie with Herbs, Yogurt and Quinoa


Joanne said...

I love your spice changes and wish I had thought to make them myself! I'll definitely be trying this out your way!

Lisa Turner said...

Thank you for the inspiration Joanne. Love your site.

Michelle said...

Another delicious recipe. I served it with a little homemade mango chutney and it was perfect!

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

That looks wonderful Lisa, so comforting and satisfying! A great entry for Bookmarked Recipes. Thanks for adding it Lisa. The roundup is now live :)