From the depths of Africa to the shores of Coniston in the Lake District, where it came from nobody knows.
This is one of those recipes that has a vague origin. Well at least as far has my knowledge extends it does. I first encountered it while working at Coniston Youth Hostel back in the 90’s. As for whether the manager Sandra, invented the recipe or found it in a recipe book I will never know, and yes I should have asked her at the time. If you type Mali pie into google then you will get either various pie charts depicting the state of the country of Mali or you do get some nice pie recipes, but these bear no resemblance to the Mali pie I Know. Of course, and I probably knew all along that the name was made up by someone because of the association of peanuts and this part of Africa. I then typed Savoury Peanut pie into google and after a lot of scrolling down I found one recipe that came close to what I remembered. I found it on a blog called Chef Mel’s Kitchen . According to Mel it was one of her mums classic recipes. I may be wrong but I have a theory that someone at one time took the classic ‘African Peanut Stew’ which is quite popular in West Africa (recipes can be found in cook books and over the internet) and after drying it up a bit married it up with pastry. Mel’s recipe is very close to the one I remember except she uses dry roasted peanuts instead of plain peanuts and also I remember Sandra using wholemeal pastry. I remember the recipe very well because as the hostels second chef as it were I made quite a few of them. I also used the recipe myself at the Youth Hostel In Borth when I was the manager/chef there.
Dinner party, on safari or just a picnic on the river.
The pie is basically a mixture of peanuts, tomatoes, mixed herbs and lashings of Worcestershire sauce, and then baked in a crusty wholemeal pastry. It is delicious served hot straight from the oven or is equally nice cold with salad. When cold its texture makes it ideal for a picnic and if you made them into individual pies even better for that purpose. So this is Sandra’s recipe and the only change I may have made is to add a little more Worcestershire sauce than hers. I have stuck with the name Mali Pie and why not it sounds good.
- --- Filling ---
- 1 Onion (finely chopped)
- 2 cloves Garlic (crushed)
- 250 ml Peanuts (still in skins)
- 1 tin chopped Tomatoes
- 1 tsp Mixed herbs
- 5 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- --- Pastry ---
- 200 g Wholemeal Flour
- 100 g Butter (From fridge)
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 180 c 356 f or gas mark 4
- Rub the butter into the flour and salt to a breadcrumb like texture.
- Stir in a little water and stir until it forms a pastry.
- Place the pastry wrapped in cling film, in the fridge until needed.
- Fry the onions in a little oil until soft.
- Chop the peanuts in a food processor until they reach the texture you want (I like them to still have a crunch).
- Add the peanuts, tomatoes, herbs and the Worcestershire sauce to the onions.
- Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes until the texture is just firming up.
- Season to taste.
- Roll out enough pastry to line a greased 18 cm pie dish.
- Spread the filling into the dish and roll out the remaining pastry and place on top.
- Crimp the edges of the pastry, trim the edges and make two slits to let out the steam.
- Brush the pastry with egg wash and bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
- I use butter for the pastry rather than margarine because we try to use as little processed food as possible you can exchange for margarine if you like.
- If you want to make this pie vegan then use a Soya margarine for the pastry, Worcestershire sauce without anchovies and brush with oil at the end.