Joe Woodhouse’s recipe for curried lentil and spring green hand pies | Food

These are handy for picnics, in packed lunches or as a part of a meal. They benefit from the cucumber yoghurt – the freshness and zing cut through the meatiness of the pies and temper the heat from the chillies, so pairing it with them is definitely worth it. If you don’t have spring greens, any dark greens work, spinach or brussels tops for example.

Makes 8 pies
neutral oil (such as groundnut or sunflower) 2 tbsp
onion 1, finely diced
garlic 3 cloves, sliced
curry powder 1 tbsp
lentils 250g, checked for any rogue stones
spring greens 200g, tough stalks removed and leaves shredded
green chillies 2, diced
pre-rolled puff pastry 2 packets (each about 325g)
eggs 2, beaten
sea salt flakes a pinch

For the yoghurt
yoghurt 300g
cucumber 1, coarsely grated
lemon or lime juice 3 tbsp
sea salt flakes a pinch

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, then add the onion and salt. Cook for 12-15 minutes until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and curry powder and stir while cooking for a further minute.

Follow with the lentils and 1 litre of water. Gently cook for about 20 minutes until just tender. Keep topping up with water if needed to keep everything loose, but don’t let it get too watery as the mix needs to bind together to fill the pies.

Add the leaves to the lentils to wilt. Increase the heat to high to cook off any excess water with a swift boil but take care not to overcook the lentils. It’s best to flirt with the level of liquid, erring on the drier side. Stir through the chilli and allow the mix to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180C fan/gas mark 6.

Unravel the pre-rolled pastry sheets. (If using a pastry block, roll out to 40cm × 25cm.) Cut each pastry sheet into 4 rectangles. Spoon a heaped dessertspoon of lentils on to one end of each pastry rectangle. Brush around the edges with egg wash and fold over each rectangle to cover the lentils. Crimp together the edges. I press them down with the end of a fork.

Place the pies on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush with more egg wash, then poke a little hole or two in the top of each. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the pies are puffed and golden. Turn the tray around two-thirds of the way through.

Mix the yoghurt ingredients together and serve alongside. Add more lemon to taste.

From Your Daily Veg by Joe Woodhouse (Octopus, £22)