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Description of Indian Spices
Puff Pastry


This is a popular evening tea snack in India and is available in the local bakeries. They are triagular in shape and are called "patties". The most common and popular stuffing is a spicy potato mixture. Other stuffings include paneer (indian cottage cheese) or mushrooms. Since they are easily available in the market and complicated to make no one makes these at home in India. But they are very easy to make at home in the US because the pastry sheet (which is the tough part) is easily available in the freezer section of the local grocery stores called "puff pastry sheets" and the stuffing can be made quite easily at home. If you don't want to cook you can use and leftover dry sabzi as a stuffing. The final product needs to be baked in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

These patties make a good appetizer or can be served as a snack with tea. Indians like it because it reminds them of the tit bits from back home and American like it because its a fusion food, american ingredient cooked indian style.

1 sheet Pepperridge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets ( 2 sheets per packet)
1 medium Boiled Potato
1 oz Frozen green peas
1/2tsp Cumin seeds (jeera)
1/2tsp Red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
3/4tsp Amchur powder (mango powder)
1/2tsp Garam masala
Salt to taste
1/2tbsp Oil
Making the stuffing
Boil the peas in a 1 quart saucepan. Cook them until they are tender, check this by taking out a few peas and pressing them with your finger. They are done if they are squashed by the least pressure by your finger. Remove from flame and strain in a colander. Keep aside. Frozen peas cook in about 10 minute in rapid boiling water.

Boil 1 medium sized potato. Remove the skin and mash it coarsely with a potato masher. Do not mash it completely, make sure the pieces are chunky.

Note: Instead of mashing the potato with a potato masher you can cut it in tiny pieces on a cutting board. Substitute the peas for cauliflower, cut it in small florets and boil till tender but not fully cooked.

Heat oil in a frying pan and add the cumin seeds. Fry them for 10 secs till they just begin to change color. After the cumin seeds are a little dark brown add the boiled peas and mashed potato and stir. Now add the red chilli powder, amchur powder, garam masala and salt. Stir it well so that it spreads evenly. Cook it for 5-7 minutes on a medium flame, turning upside down occasionally. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool..

Note: Substitute black pepper powder instead of red chilli powder and garam masala and use 1tsp lemon juice instead of mango powder(amchur)..

Rolling out the patty

Sprinkle a little baking flour on a cutting board and put the pastry sheet on it. Open the pastry from the center, by lifting the 2 flaps. Once the sheet lies flat cut it from the center as shown. Keep half the sheet aside and fill the stuffing in the other half. Take some of the prepared filling in a spoon and fill it in the center of the sheet.
After you have stuffed the sheet, bring up one flap over the filling. Keeping it there bring up the second flap over it. Press them together in the center one being on top of the other. Use a little water between them to make sure they are sticking well to each other. Otherwise they will open when they start expanding in the oven. Cut the pastry in 1 inches( or smaller) circles. Repeat the same for the sheet kept aside in the beginning.
Cover a wire mesh with aluminium foil and spray cooking spray over it. Arrange the pastries as shown. Make sure they are atleast 1/2" apart from each other because they fluff upto about 3 times their current size. Bake in a preheated conventional oven to the temperature given on the pastry packet. Put the tray in the center position and bake till the tops are golden brown.

Optional Stuffing
Paneer-Peas Stuffing

Saute onions and tomatoes and add some mashed paneer/tofu , let it cook for a while and then add the chili powder, garam masala, coriander powder and salt. Let this cook for about 5-7 minutes on a medium flame stirring occasionally. Fill and Bake as explained above.

Mushroom Stuffing

Saute some onions and then add sliced mushrooms, cook till all the water has evaporated then add masala like chilli powder, garam masala, dhania powder and salt. Fill and Bake as above.

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