Learnt this from my friend Gaura-sakti das. Modified a bit with the help of Madhumangala das

1. Wash 2 and 1/2 bunches of spinach, then add to boiling water. Add salt. In the meantime, turn oven to full heat, then down to 180C.

Defrost two puff pastries – for the base and the top of the pie.

2. The White Sauce.

Bring 500 ml milk to boil. Add 5 tablespoons (tbsp) butter to milk. Thicken with maizena (thickening agent), until it starts to thicken. Add tbsp crushed black pepper, a small punnet of sweet basil (my addition) and 1 teaspoon (tsp) hing/asofoetida. Allow sauce to simmer and get thick. Add tbsp salt at the end and five or six tbsps of eggless mayonnaise (“Knorr” makes a nice on in South Africa). Allow to cool.

3. Shallow fry soya chicken strips in oil, ghee or butter until crisp. Stir spinach into the sauteed soya chicken strips. Add white sauce to spinach and chicken.

4. Place one of the puff pastries on a smooth surface. Roll it out a little, so it can amply fill the baking tray. Place the pastry at the bottom of the baking tray (the large ones that we usually use to roast vegetables in) and bring the pastry up to the of the tray. Fill the pastry base with the spinach/soya chicken mix.

5. Cover the pie with the second rolled-out puff pastry. Seal the pie by joining the top pastry with the bottom one. Brush milk over the covered pastry (to give it a golden appearance and to make it less crispy) and puncture the top with a fork.

6. Place in the oven at 180C for about half-an-hour. Turn the top grill on for the last few minutes (be careful you don’t burn the top of the pie). Turn off the oven. Allow to cool a bit. Offer to Krishna.

7. Serving suggestion (from Madhumangala prabhu): serve with mash potato and baby carrots cooked in butter with a little cinnamon. It is also nice with date and tamarind chatni.

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