A delicious hand-held Chicken Tikka Pasty recipe for curry lovers. Simple Chicken Tikka filling encased in a light yet robust, gently flaky gluten free pastry. Optional dairy free.
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Gluten free Chicken Tikka Pasty recipe for the curry lovers
I’ve been wanting to create a gluten free Chicken Tikka Pasty recipe for ages… And I finally got around to it! After the huge success of my traditional Cornish Pasty Recipe with beef, this is a variation on a theme. It has a lightly spiced Chicken Tikka filling, carefully created to avoid any sogginess in the pastry… And it’s perfect for the curry lovers out there as well as being safe for people with Coeliac Disease (Celiac).
Read on for all the advice to make the best gluten free pasty pastry, easy curry filling, and to bake your Chicken Tikka Pasties to perfection.
Gluten Free Pasty Pastry
The pastry recipe shared at the bottom of this post was originally created specifically for my Cornish Pasties. I wanted a dough that was robust yet flexible and that would still have a deliciously flaky texture. The result is in a different league to other pastries I tried. There’s no grittiness and the pasty can be held in one hand and eaten without disintegration.
I recommend using the recipe shared, as it’s tried and tested and no one can tell it’s gluten free. But… I also appreciate that for some of you, making up specific flour blends can be a hassle. So if you need to use an alternative to make them and have a favourite shortcrust pastry recipe you prefer, go ahead. Just take extra care in the shaping to give the pies as much stability as possible. Or alternatively, there is another suitable pastry recipe on the blog which can be made with commercial flour blends.
Chicken Tikka Pasty Filling
The filling for my Chicken Tikka Pasty recipe is created to be as simple, yet flavoursome as possible. Indeed, it is a basic combination of chicken, onion, potato and peas with an easy marinade consisting of natural yoghurt and bought Tikka Masala curry paste.
The yoghurt (which can be dairy free) adds richness to the filling and also helps to tenderise the chicken.
As for the Tikka curry paste? I use one from the local supermarket from the Jamie Oliver range. But an alternative is fine. Otherwise, you can sub with either a shop-bought dry spice mix or make your own at home. If using a dry mix, it’s worth adding extra yoghurt to the marinade (3 to 4 tablespoons) to make up for the additional moisture that would have been in the paste.
Tips for making great pasty pastry
Keeping it cold…
Making great pastry requires cold hands (apparently). So what can you do if your hands and/or the weather is leaning towards the sweaty side?
- Chill the bowl (and the ingredients) before you start.
- Make sure the fat (butter/dairy free alternative and lard) is super-cold and cut into small cubes. This makes for easier and quicker ‘rubbing in’.
- If the mix starts to warm and feel sticky, pop the bowl back in the fridge for a short while to re-chill.
- For pastry, it’s fine to use eggs straight from the fridge.
- Make sure the water added is ice cold.
- And the BEST TIP (which completely revolutionised my pastry making)… Invest in a Pastry Blender/Cutter. This simple, inexpensive gadget cuts through the fat in no time, without the need to touch the ingredients at all… And that helps to keep it all cool.
“Fraisering” pastry dough
When I make my gluten free pasty pastry, I use an optional process known as ‘fraisering’. The process, which involves blending the dough with a palate knife or cake scraper, helps give the pastry lightness and flaky layers.
I have included written instructions for fraisering on the recipe card at the bottom. But you can also follow the process using the photographs below…
For more general tips on how to make gluten free Shortcrust Pastry, have a look at my Step-by-Step Guide.
Tips on rolling out the pasty pastry
- Divide the pastry dough into 5 equal pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough on well-floured baking paper (dusting the top of the dough too) to help prevent sticking. Lift the pastry a few times as you roll it to check!
- Roll the pastry to about 4 to 5 mm thickness for a robust pie… And to about the size of a dinner plate. (It helps to use a 9 inch cake tin/plate as a guide).
- Once rolled, use a correctly sized circular template over the pastry and cut around it with a sharp knife. This will give you the best pasty shape.
- Re-check the pastry has not stuck and is well-floured underneath BEFORE filling.
How to fill a Chicken Tikka Pasty
- Because the pastry is pulled over and wrapped around the Chicken Tikka filling, it is important to cut the ingredients on the smaller side and to arrange the filling on the dough so that any sharp edges don’t poke through the sides.
- Place a large handful of filling mixture onto the pastry circle, just off-centre on the side nearest and towards you.
- Once the filling has been placed on the dough circle, visually check for any sharp corners poking upwards and squash them flat.
- While you want to be generous with the filling, at the same time it’s important not to ‘over-fill’ the pastry, or it will be difficult to join and crimp the edges.
Tips for folding, crimping and baking your Chicken Tikka Pasties
- Egg-wash around the whole edge of the pastry.
- Gently pull the pastry circle from the back, up and over the filling until it meets the opposite edge, then press to seal (gently expelling any excess air from inside the pastry case at the same time).
- My crimping is rubbish… But this video I found on You Tube might help.
- Remember to make a couple of small slits with a sharp knife on top of each uncooked Chicken Tikka Pasty. This will let the steam escape.
- Egg-wash the top for a golden finish.
- Chill the pasties before baking.
- If the pastry browns too quickly in the oven, turn it down a notch or cover with foil to prevent burning.
Each Pasty consists of two key components… the pasty pastry and the Chicken Tikka filling. To get ahead (or if you don’t have time to make pasties in one sitting), each can be made separately and be stored in the fridge until ready to assemble.
For the pastry… Make it up to 3 days ahead and wrap it well before popping it in the fridge. When ready to use, allow it to stand at room temperature for a short time to soften and then gently work with your hands until pliable enough to roll.
For the Chicken Tikka Filling… Once made, allow it to cool to room temperature. Then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate (again up to 3 days ahead).
How to serve a Chicken Tikka Pasty
Chicken Tikka Pasties can be served hot or cold. They make perfect lunch-box and picnic food served just as they are… Or you can serve at home with a side of salad if you wish.
Storing Chicken Tikka Pasties
Once cooked, Chicken Tikka Pasties should be stored (sealed in a bag or container) in the fridge. They will last up to 3 days after making.
They can also be frozen… Freeze when completely cooled, for up to 3 months… Again in an airtight bag or container.
As ‘leftovers’, they can be eaten cold. Or if you prefer to reheat, they should be placed in the oven at 180 C (350 F), wrapped in foil, for at least 20 minutes. As they are made with cooked chicken, check the filling is piping hot before eating.
Ready to make my Gluten Free Chicken Tikka Pasty recipe?
My Chicken Tikka Pasty recipe is just below (scroll an inch or two further). I hope you enjoy them. Let me know if you make any with a comment, or by messaging me on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest).
For all our other savoury pies and pastry recipes, head over to our dedicated Gluten Free Savoury Pies Index. For everything else, the main Gluten Free Recipe Index is the place to start your kitchen adventures. Always gluten free but better… And always shared with my love.
Chicken Tikka Pasties
- sharp vegetable knife
- chopping board
- flat table knife
- palette knife/cake scraper
- 9 inch round template (eg cake tin/plate)
- large baking tray
Chicken Tikka Filling – Marinating the Chicken
- 60 g Tikka curry paste from a jar – I used Jamie Oliver
- 60 g natural yoghurt (or dairy free alternative)
- 350 g skinless chicken breast (approx weight – diced)
Other filling ingredients
- 100 g onion (chopped) = approx. half a medium size onion
- 100 g waxy potato (eg Maris Peer or Charlotte varieties) – Peeled and cut into finger-nail size slithers
- 30 g butter (or DF alternative)
- 50 g peas (frozen or fresh)
- 1 to 2 tbsp Tikka curry paste (additional to the above)
- 220 g Gluten Free Rice Free Flour Blend B GFA Blend B – See NOTES for individual flour ratios
- 110 g gram flour (also known as chickpea flour, garbanzo flour or besan)
- 110 g potato starch flour (additional to blend B)
- 2 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp baking powder gluten free
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 110 g unsalted butter (or good dairy free block alternative) very cold and cubed
- 110 g lard (or Trex white vegetable fat) very cold and cubed
- 2 large eggs UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
- 5 tbsp very cold water
- extra flour for dusting and rolling I use GFA Blend B
- an additional egg and a drop of milk beaten together
- Mix together the Tikka paste with the yoghurt in a large bowl and add the diced chicken.
- Mix well until the chicken is evenly coated and marinate for a minimum of an hour in the fridge.
- Meanwhile, prepare and chop the onion and potato.
- When the chicken is marinated, melt the butter in a large saucepan or frying pan and fry the chicken (with all the marinade from the bowl) for a minute to seal, before adding the prepared onion and potato to the pan.
- Continue to fry gently for a further 5 minutes so that the onion and potato start to soften and the chicken finishes cooking.
- Take off the heat and add the peas to the pan and stir through with an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of Tikka paste, to provide extra sauce to the filling and keep it moist.
- Set the pan aside and allow the filling to cool to room temperature with the lid ON (do not use to fill the pastry until it is fully cold as the warmth will melt the fat in the pastry).
- If not making the pasties for several hours, cover and chill the filling in the fridge until ready to use.
- It helps to chill the bowl in advance to keep the ingredients cool when rubbing the fat into the flour. (Although you can also use a pastry-blender to make the process easier).
- Weigh the flours, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and mix together until evenly combined.
- Add the butter and lard/Trex to the bowl and rub into the flour mixture using finger tips (or a pastry cutter), until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
- Optional : For best results, chill the flour-fat mixture before adding the liquid, especially if the weather/room is warm.
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs with the water and then pour into the crumb mixture.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the crumbs using a table knife until it begins to clump together.
- Once it is beginning to come together as a dough, leave the mixture to stand for 10 to 15 minutes to fully absorb the liquid.
- Finally, bring the dough together with your hands and press into a ball. If not 'fraisering' (see below), lightly knead the mixture between your hands until smooth.
Optional 'fraisering' of the pastry dough (makes extra flaky) – See PHOTOS main blog post
- Place the block of pastry on a clean work surface (do not dust with flour).
- Take a flexible palette knife or dough/cake scraper and cut into the front edge of the dough block. As it slices through, tilt the palette knife/scraper downwards so that the top of the blade tilts and pulls towards your waist.
- Press the dough down flat on the work surface and pull it across the surface towards you, in a smearing action.
- Smear the same cut of dough three times and then gather it up onto the scraper and place in a pile to the side.
- Continue this process until you have worked through all the pastry dough.
- Carefully push the pile of fraisered dough together (do not knead or ‘work’) and then gently lift and drop the dough ball on the work surface (as many times as necessary) until it blends together into a soft, smooth pastry.
- You can use straight away, or wrap in cling film, flatten slightly and chill to use later.
- When ready to use the dough, take from the fridge if chilled and gently warm with the palm of your hand until it becomes more pliable and rollable.
Making the Pasties
- Prepare your egg-wash, by beating the eggs together in a bowl with a fork.
- Divide the pastry into 5 equal-sized balls. This will give you a guide on how thick/thin you should roll them.
- On a large sheet of well-floured baking paper (and with the dough also dusted on top), roll each dough ball into a circle about 9 inches (23 cm) in diameter. Use the removable base of a cake tin/appropriate-sized dinner plate as a size-guide. The rolled pastry should be about 4 mm in thickness.
- Using your template (gently placed on top of the rolled pastry), carefully cut around it to make a clean circle shape using a very sharp knife.
- While there should be very little, set the 'discard' aside to be amalgamated together at the end with any other spare pastry.
- Gently lift the pastry circle with the help of a palette knife to check it has not stuck BEFORE filling. Sprinkle extra flour underneath if required.
- Place a large handful of filling onto the pastry circle, set just off centre towards you. Don't over-fill and be sure to leave a wide pastry edge for sealing and crimping.
- Carefully arrange and check the filling to ensure there are no sharp vegetable edges at the top that will poke through and pierce the pastry.
- Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the full outer edge of the circle with egg wash.
- Carefully pull the far edge of the pastry circle up and over the filling towards you until it meets the opposite edge as a semi-circle. If the filling starts to spill out, carefully remove the excess, or (if there is room) poke the stray pieces back into the middle of the pasty with your finger.
- Very lightly press down on the surface of the pasty to expel any excess air and then gently press together the two egg-washed edges to seal. If there are any accidental holes, simply 'patch' with a small, flat strip of dampened pastry and smooth with a wet finger.
- Very lightly egg-wash the sealed curve, before carefully crimping. Crimping involves moving from one side of the pastry edge to the other in a pinching and folding motion to create a turned edge. This video that I found on YouTube might help…
- Gently transfer the pasty to a baking tray (lined with baking paper) using a fish-slice/palette knife as helpful (arrange so that you can fit other pasties on the tray too)
- Repeat the rolling and filling process for all the pasties.
- Bring any remaining pastry together and knead and roll into a single piece and fill as you wish with any leftover filling.
- Carefully cut 2 slits (about 2 cm long) in the top of each pasty with a sharp knife and then thoroughly glaze the top surface with beaten egg-wash.
- CHILL the tray of uncooked pasties for about 30 to 45 minutes before baking.
- While chilling, pre-heat the oven to 170 Fan/180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Bake the pasties straight from the fridge for 35 to 40 minutes until golden (turn the oven down by 10 degrees if browning too quickly).
- Remove from the oven and eat straight away hot, cooled slightly or enjoy cold. Cool on the trays. Can be reheated in the oven (wrapped in foil) at 180 C for at least 20 minutes until PIPING hot.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist
Chicken Tikka Pasties shared with
- Fiesta Friday with Angie
- Full Plate Thursday with Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
- What’s for Dinner with The Lazy Gastronome