My Kota Pie

I won a British High Commission competition with this recipe. It was named the official Pie of the visiting British visitors for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Based on a simple township fast food its rather complex to make but I’ve tried to make the method as straight forward as possible.

The name “kota” is literally taken from the word “quarter”, the reason being that its made using a quarter of a loaf of bread. In Soweto, where I’m from, you can choose from a myriad of ingredients to fill your kota. Similar to a burger, there are loads and loads of various ingredients. The most typical ingredients are processed cheese, tomato sauce, archaar, processed meats and sausages and potato fries. This recipe plays on those core ingredients, I’ve twisted them up by making a sundried tomato sauce, instead of chips I’ve made potato cubes fried in butter and herbs, instead of processed cheese I’ve used mature cheddar and I’ve made the sausage dainty by cutting it into cubes as well.

We made close on 5000 of these pies…from scratch (meaning we made the puff pastry too) for the Brits. I really really really hate making them because of the various elements involved but maybe you won’t…

Update: I recently had these pies as a challenge for the contestants on Top Chef. I made the atchaar from scratch and used vegetables.
INGREDIENTS (for five pies)

550g puff pastry
500g potatoes
500g Russian sausages
100g mango achaar
300g sundried tomatoes
250ml red wine
3 sprigs rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsps sugar
50g cheddar cheese
50ml olive oil
50g butter

1 egg for brushing

● Cut 400g potatoes into 1cm x 1cm cubes. Cook in simmering water until tender.
● Drain and dry potatoes. Melt butter in a sauté pan. Add a spoon of oil and 2 rosemary sprigs.
● Add potatoes and increase heat. Fry potatoes until golden brown. Drain and set aside to cool.
● Drain achaar in a sieve. Brunoise (finely chop) the pieces of mango.
● Finely chop sundried tomatoes. Place in a pan with 2 tsps of olive oil on medium heat. Cook until paste consistency. Add red wine and chopped rosemary. Reduce to a chunky sauce. Add sugar, salt and pepper. Stir and set aside.
● Finely grate Cheddar.
● Skin and cut Russian sausages into large brunoise. Fry in oil.
● Roll out puff pastry. Spray and cook mini-loaf moulds. Line with puff pastry.
● Layer bottom of pie with potatoes (NOT the chips).
● Add cheddar to Russian sausages and layer on top of potatoes.
● Layer with finely grated mature Cheddar cheese.
● Place tomato sauce on top and seal pie with a layer of puff pastry. Brush the pie with egg wash.
● With remaining puff pastry cut out the letters “KOTA” and eggwash one side of each letter. Stick lettering on the pie lid and egg-wash the surface of the pie. Bake at 180°C until golden brown.

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