Kumara Bisteeya

2 small gold & 2 small red kumara (approx. 600 g)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, finely diced

1 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated

1 tsp ground cumin

pinch of chilli powder

½ tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of saffron threads (soaked in ¼ c boiling water)

1 c ground almonds

1 egg, beaten

2 lemons, juiced

1 tsp salt

pinch of white pepper


1 packet phyllo pastry

50 g butter, melted (extra may be required)


lemon wedges

green salad



Can use any kind of kumara for this one.

Peel the kumara, and cut into small dice. Add the olive oil to a saucepan and sauté the onion. Add the ginger, cumin, chilli and cinnamon, followed by the diced kumara. Cook the mixture, stirring until the kumara has softened a little, then add the saffron water. Take off the heat and cool a little. Mix in the almonds, egg, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Lay a sheet of phyllo on a chopping board, brush with butter, lay another sheet on top, repeat with the butter and another sheet. There should be three sheets in total. As you are working cover the unused phyllo with a tea towel as it can dry out quickly.

Cut the layered phyllo into squares large enough to put into a muffin tin with good overlapping edges. Fill 6 muffin tins with the layered phyllo.

Fill the phyllo lined tins with the kumara mixture, and fold over the pastry edges to make little pies. If the edges of the phyllo do not quite cover the filling, cut small rounds of pastry and place on top of the filling. Then fold over the edges, brushing with butter to ensure a good bond. Leave them in the tins for 15 minutes or so to set well, then invert onto a baking tray. Brush with a little more butter and cook in a preheated oven set to 180°C. Bake until nicely coloured, approx. 20 mins, and remove from the oven.

Serve with a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice, relish or chutney and green salad.


Makes 6.