Sunday, March 1, 2015

Vegetable patties- Anytime Snack.

Another one of those forgotten foods from our times in India.

Patties were a staple in all Delhi University South Campus college canteens. Our post-lunch, mid afternoon chai time would not be complete without a few orders of these delicious, mouthwatering accompaniment. Between the ten of us classmates, a few plates of patties vanished before they appeared on the table.

Living here, I didn't see them for a very long time. And with time, memories dimmed. Then, on one of my visits to a friend in New York (the one who taught me the badam halwa), I had a chance to taste them again. My friend's neighbor had made them, and I remember being so awed at her ability to be able to recreate that magic. Another few years later, at a picnic potluck, another friend offered to bring patties.

"What Patties?" I asked.
"The vegetable patties- the ones we ate in India."
"You can make them? Really?"
"Of course, they are easy!", she said, as I stared at her incredulously.

The day of the picnic, she came laden with a huge trays-full of patties. I must have eaten a half-dozen, at least. And then I worked up the courage to walk up and ask her that niggling question...."how do you make the outside dough covering?"

I honestly wasn't prepared for her answer- " you just buy it. It's the puff pastry sheets!!"

With that revelation, the puzzle pieces fell in place. Of course! Making patties at home is so easy!

Vegetable Patties

(Curried potato and peas puff pastry turnovers)

Pepperidge farm frozen Puff pastry sheets: Thawed as per directions

Boiled potatoes 2
Frozen peas,- 1/2 cup defrosted and blanched
Grated ginger 1/2 inch piece
Green chillies 1 chopped
Cilantro- a fistful chopped
Oil 1 Tbsp
Cumin seeds 1tsp
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder 1/2tsp
Turneric powder 1/2tsp
Chaat masala 1 Tbsp
Amchoor powder 1/2Tbsp
Ground fennel seed powder 1/2Tbsp

Make the filling: 

  1. Heat a saucepan 1 Tbsp oil and temper the cumin seed in it.
  2. Add the fresh ginger and chopped green chillies. 
  3. After a minute, crumble in the boiled potatoes in the pan.
  4. Mix in the peas, cilantro and all spices.
  5. Heat through. Keep stirring to avoid sticking. 
  6. Taste and adjust the seasoning if required. Allow to cool.
 Make the patties:

  1. Thaw the puff pastry sheet for at least 45 min. on kitchen counter. 
  2. Then roll it slightly on a floured surface.
  3. Using a pizza cutter, cut the sheet into 12 squares.
  4. Take one square, spoon in 1-2 spoonfuls of filling in the squre along the midline.
  5. Bring one corner over and make a triangle.
  6. Squeeze the 3 corners to seal.
  7. Repeat with all the puff pastry squares.
  8. Bake at 450F for 15-20 min, or until golden brown and crusty.
  9. Enjoy warm, or at room temperature.
My two cents: Patties were brought to India by the Europeans, Portuguese probably. They are a common street food on the Indian west coast, Mumbai-Goa region especially. But quite popular among the teenage crowd in the North as well. I remember ordering these with chai at least 3 times a week in college.

With store-bought puff pastry sheets, these patties are a breeze to make. That is not to say that you can't make your own pastry- go ahead, if you know how to. For now, to satisfy those instant cravings, this version works for me. One package of frozen puff pastry comes with two pre-rolled sheets, and each sheet will give you 9-12 patties (I made 12 small ones). 

You can experiment with fillings. This potato and peas is the classic Indian version. I like the spinach and feta as well (Spanakopita- the Greek version). Works very well as a party appetizer, and tastes good even at room temperature (though I am partial to warn off the oven kind!). Reheats well. So what are you waiting for? Take a bite, and enjoy!

Linked to Come -Join us for Breakfast event for February.