Skill level

Average: 3.9 (24 votes)


  • 75 ml olive oil
  • 4 squab, cut into quarters
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ thumb ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 small red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
  • 12 saffron threads, dry roasted
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 4 tbsp medium-dry sherry
  • 600 ml chicken stock
  • 4 eggs
  • 15 g flat-leaf parsley
  • 20 g coriander leaves, chopped
  • 75 g flaked almonds
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • filo pastry sheets, cut in half lengthways (5 sheets per pie)
  • 150 g clarified butter


  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the squab and sautée until golden brown.

Add the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, saffron, and the ground ginger, cinnamon and cumin. If ingredients aren’t coated, add a little more oil.

Add the sherry and stock. Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cover with a cartouche. Simmer for 40–45 minutes or until the squab is tender.

Leave the squab to cool down in liquid. Remove the squab pieces. Remove the meat from birds and discard the bones.

Bring poaching liquid to the boil and reduce by half, skimming off any impurities from the surface.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a bowl. When the liquid is reduced, set aside to cool slightly. Gradually add this to the eggs, whisking constantly. The mixture should resemble a custard.

Stir in the parsley and coriander. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.

Once cool, combine the meat and egg mixture. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Fry the almond flakes in vegetable oil until brown.

To assemble the pies, grease the bottom of a pan with the clarified butter. Layer the filo sheets and butter. Place the almond on the bottom of the pie, then spoon in the mixture. Carefully fold the filo over the filling to seal. (Don't worry about how it looks as this will be the base.)

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Bake the pies in pre-heated oven for 15–25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and crisp. Turn the pies out onto a chopping board. Wipe off excess butter. Sift over the icing sugar and cinnamon mixture. Brand with a metal skewer. Serve immediately.