Pigeon PastillaServes six
4tbsp sunflower oil
1.5kg (3 lb 5 oz) onions, chopped
2tsp grated fresh root ginger
ツスtsp ground mace
ツスtsp ground nutmeg
ツシtsp ground cloves
1tsp ground white pepper
1 ツスtsp ground cinnamon
150ml (ツシ pint) water
3 oven-ready pigeons
250g (9 oz) blanched almonds
50g (1 ツセ oz) unsalted butter
6tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
6tbsp finely chopped fresh flat- leaved parsley
100ml (3 ツス fl oz) prepared saffron
75g (2 ツセ oz) granulated brown sugar
6 ouarka pastry sheets
1 egg white. Lightly beaten
75g (2 ツセ oz) icing sugar
6 mint sprigs
窶「 In a large saucepan, heat the oil and add the onions to fry gently for 5-7 minutes until softened and start coloring.
窶「 Stir all the ingredients to mix them together.
窶「 Season the pigeons inside and out with salt and pepper to taste and add them to the preparation.
窶「 Bring to boil and cover.
窶「 Lower heat and leave to simmer slowly for 1 hour, checking occasionally that the dish Isn窶冲 drying out. If necessary, add a little water.
窶「 Toast the blanched almonds in a dry frying pan by stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until golden.
窶「 Leave to cool out of the pan and then grind them coarsely. Keep aside.
窶「 Once cooked, remove the pigeons and leave to cool on a plate.
窶「 If the remaning cooking sauce is too thin, boil it until it is reduced to a thick sauce.
窶「 Once the pigeons are cool, remove the skin, take all the flesh from the bones and shred it coarsely with your fingers.
窶「 Keep the pigeon flesh aside.
窶「 Break the eggs into a bowl and beat them thoroughly, then add them to the onions.
窶「 Stir well and add the butter, coriander, parsley, saffron, sugar, and remaining salt and pepper.
窶「 Cook for 15 minutes on very low heat, stirring constantly until the eggs are scrambled and set. Leave to cool.
窶「 Pre heatthe oven to 180ツー C/ 350ツー F/ Gas mark 4.
窶「 Cut each round ouarka sheet in half.
窶「 Each individual pastilla will use two halves.
窶「 Lay out half a sheet of Ouarka on a lightly greased non-stick individual pie tin (10cm /4 inches in diameter).
窶「 Then lay out the second half of Ouarka on top of the first in a cross shape.
窶「 Cover it with a layer of stuffing 1cm (1 ツス inch) thick, scatter the shredded pigeons on top of it and sprinkle almonds all over the pigeons.
窶「 Before folding the edges of ouarka, cut them so that if once folded, they would hang over the edges of the tin.
窶「 Fold the first edge of ouarka to cover the stuffing, brush the inside of the second edge with egg white and seal it on the first edge.
窶「 Brush the inside of the third edge with egg white and seal it on the second edge.
to form a small round parcel.
窶「 Repeat for the five remaining individual pastillas with the remaining ouarka , filling, shredded pigeon and almonds.
窶「 Brush the top of each pastilla lightly with oil.
窶「 Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes until the top of each pastilla becomes golden.
窶「 Carefully invert each pastilla into its tin to cook it upside- down for 15 more minutes.
窶「 If not crisp and golden enough, cook for a few more minutes.
窶「 Remove all the pastillas from the oven and put each of them, bottom-up, on a serving plate.
窶「 Dust icing sugar on the surface of each pastilla and make a decorative pattern with the remaining ground cinnamon.
窶「 The edges of the serving plates can be decorated with icing sugar and a small sprig of fresh mint.
窶「 Another nice way to serve the pastilla is to save the roasted entire wings and thighs of the pigeons, by not using them in the stuffing.
窶「 Heat in the oven, covered with foil to prevent from drying and place one wing and one thigh on each side of the pastille on the serving plate.
窶「 Serve hot
Recipe courtesy of Almaz by Momo & Chef Nourdine Akalai