For my birthday I received a gift card for Williams & Sonoma. Please tell me I'm not the only one to be completely overwhelmed in cooking stores. I wanted to buy everything. Shiny new knives, maybe an ice cream maker perfect for a hot summer, more cooling racks for my cookies, the cutest apron ever with matching oven mitts....ok, ok, I needed to pick something and then my eyes landed on the sales table. I'm a sucker for a sale. One of my purchases, Padma Lakshmi's cook book. I'm a fan of Top Chef and Indian food so I was really excited to get it home and try it out.
In her book she describes Bisteeya as the most daunting recipe in the book. I figured if I made it correctly, everything else would be easy peasy. First of all, try finding anar dana and anchoor in your local grocery store. Otherwise known as dried pomegranate seeds (irritated to find them on the "new" items shelf at Trader Joes a week after I made this) and dried mango powder. Luckily, after asking a few friends and coworkers, an Indian market was located and they had everything I needed. Second of all, working with filo dough is really really frustrating. I had the hardest time keeping it from drying out, sticking to the other pieces and getting it to lay flat without cracking while I brushed it with butter. I may have cheated a little and started dousing it with butter rather than brushing it nicely. I'll try and have more patience next time. Yes, there will be a next time as it's sooooo pretty when you take it out of the oven and tastes very homey and comforting. Although, I have found I'm not a fan of dried pomegranate seeds. This dish will definitely be on the holiday recipe list.So, if you like a challenge check out Padma's recipe for Moroccan Bisteeya (Curried Chicken Pie) and let me know what you think. But don't tell your spouse it's a savory dish dusted with powdered sugar, he'll make a face when you ask him to try it.