Autumnal squash, butterbean and mushroom cobbler

For the pie filling

  • 400g squash, I like butternut, hubbard or acorn
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 20g root ginger, peeled weight, grated
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and grated
  • 3 tomatoes, quartered
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2–1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • salt to taste
  • good pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 9–10 large chestnut mushrooms,thickly sliced
  • 400g can butterbeans, drained and rinsed
  • 100g baby spinach
  • 6 tbsp double cream
  • 50ml whole milk
  • 1/2–1 tbsp tomato purée (optional)

For the cobbler topping

  • 175g self-raising flour, sifted,plus more to dust
  • 1/ 3 tsp salt
  • 70g unsalted butter, cut into smallish pieces
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 55–65ml whole milk
  • a few sea salt flakes

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Place the squash, skin on, in a roasting tin and cook until soft, around 30 minutes. Remove any fibres and seeds and cut into 2.5cm squares.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan until hot. Add the onion and cook until soft and colouring at the edges. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until the garlic just starts to colour. Add the tomatoes, spices and seasoning and cook down until the sauce has thickened and has released oil back into the pan.

Add the mushrooms, cover and cook for another two to three minutes. Pour in 200ml of water and add the beans, squash and spinach and return to the boil. Cook for two to three minutes. Add the cream and milk, taste – making sure you taste both squash and sauce – and adjust the seasoning. Stir in the tomato purée if you feel the tomatoes are lacking flavour or colour. By now the sauce should be thick and cling to the vegetables. Spoon into a large pie dish, or six individual dishes.

Make the cobbler topping. Place the flour and salt in a large bowl, add the butter and rub between your fingers until you have a sandy texture. Make a well in the middle, add half the egg and most of the milk and bring together with a fork to a very soft dough. Turn out on to a flourdusted work surface and lightly bring together. Pat out until it is about 1cm thick and, using a pastry cutter, cut out six rounds. (I use large cutters and make the rounds big enough to cover the filling with just a little showing at the sides.)

Place the cobbler rounds on the pie filling, brush with the remaining beaten egg, sprinkle over some sea salt and bake on the middle shelf of the oven until the pastry is a lovely deep golden, around 20–25 minutes.

ANJUM’S INDIAN VEGETARIAN FEAST by ANJUM ANAND, published by Quadrille (£19.99, hardback)
Photos ©EMMA LEE


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