World Cuisine

  • 3 large onions
  • 2 bunches flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ bunch coriander
  • 200 g (7 oz) butter
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 7 pigeons, quartered
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) water
  • 12 eggs
  • pinch of saffron
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 250 g (8 oz) blanched almonds
  • 100 g (3½ oz) caster sugar
  • 1 pack of filo pastry
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour plus 2 tablespoons water, to seal
  • 100 g (3½ oz) icing sugar plus 1 tablespoon cinnamon, to garnish

Finely mince the onions and herbs. Heat the butter and sunflower oil in a heavy-based pan and add the pigeon, onions and herbs, salt, pepper and half the cinnamon. Mix well. Add the water, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Transfer the pigeon pieces to a plate and remove the white meat from the bones (keep the thighs whole).

Beat the eggs with a little salt and pepper, the saffron and the turmeric and pour into the cooking juices in the pan. Stir rapidly with a wooden spatula and cook until they set. Transfer to a plate and leave to cool.

Dry-toast the almonds in a frying pan, then set aside to cool. Once they are cool, crush and mix with the sugar and the remaining cinnamon and set aside.

Prepare the pastilla following the steps on pages 14–15. Spread the cooled eggs in a thick layer over the base and place the pigeon meat on top. Generously sprinkle with the almond, sugar and cinnamon mixture. Cover with the filo sheets, seal and butter as described. Bake in a preheated oven, 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4, for 30 minutes.

To serve, sprinkle the top of the pastilla with the icing sugar and use the cinnamon to form intersecting lines.

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