Olive Straws

This is almost as good as the real puff pastry! Sometimes, well most of the times it is not possible to make your own puff pastry at home. But if you want to impress your guests at a dinner party with minimum labor and maximum oomph, this recipe surely fits the bill. This quick version of the puff pastry also called as rough puff pastry rises as much as 75% of classic puff pastry and saves a great deal of time.

These olive straws are a fun and easy snack to serve alongside pre-dinner drinks. The crisp, light, flaky and buttery pastry with olives is a great combination. You can use any kind of olives, stuffed olives too if you prefer. I made these when friends were over for brunch and I sure did not have any leftovers. 🙂

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The recipe has been adapted from Michel Roux’s Pastry.

Makes 400 g dough, 12 straws

Ingredients:
200 g plain flour
200 g very cold butter, diced
1 tsp salt
80 ml ice cold water

Olive Straws

Olive Straws

Instructions :

Put the flour in a mound on the work surface and make a well. Out in the butter and salt and work then together with the fingertips of one hand, gradually drawing the flour into the center with the other hand.
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When the dough is grainy, add the iced water gradually until the mixture is incorporated, but don’t overwork the dough. Roll into a ball, wrap and chill for 20 minutes.
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Flour the work surface and roll out the pastry dough into 40*20cm rectangle. Fold it into three. FIRST TURN.
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Roll the pastry into a rectangle again and fold in three. SECOND TURN.
Wrap the block and chill for 20 minutes or freeze for 5-10 mins.
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Give the chilled pastry another 2 turns, rolling and folding as before. This makes a total of FOUR TURNS. Wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes before using.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a 32*15 cm rectangle. Using a knife cut into 2 pieces, one 14*15cm and 18*15cm. Place on a baking sheet and chill for 10 minutes.

Take the smaller piece and starting 1.5cm away from the edge lay olives end to end in a line. Leave a 2 cm space and make another line of olives. Repeat to make 4-5 more lines. Brush all the exposed pastry with egg wash.
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Cover with the larger piece of pastry and press the whole surface between the olives firmly with your fingertips.
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Chill for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. With a sharp knife, trim the edges of pastry, then cut it crossway into staws.

Lay the straws on the baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes. The recipe calls for 5-6 minutes of baking time, mine took longer.

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Best served warm, not too hot.

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

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Veg Puff a.ka Curry Puff

My earliest memory of eating a veg puff was when I was probably 7. Yes, I loved eating puffs as a child. Infact, I loved eating everything that falls under the umbrella of “Street Food”. My mom’s food was the only saving grace for me fortunately. She took great care to ensure we, my younger brother and I had a well balanced nutritious diet.

Veg puffs, Wada Pav, samosas are some of my favorite snacks and I miss them terribly now being so far away from home! As the end of every school year approached, we would wait eagerly for the last day. Simply because our Rickshaw driver (whom we lovingly called  Mama or uncle) would treat us to these goodies and an absolute must ice cream 🙂 I reckon it was his way to show us how proud he was of us…..ah, those were the days!

The love continued when I entered Fergusson college where I spent 5 years, not so much studying, as frequenting different student eateries. The bakery that was most famous for veg puffs in my hometown Pune, was within 5 minutes of walking distance from my college. The popular “Santosh bakery” would make veg puffs only on Thursdays and sold them only for a few hours! Alas, back then these were life’s dilemma. Inadequate supply of my favorite, not so healthy, ultra delicious snacks!

So this time when I made my own puff pastry I knew I had to give these a try! They turned out to be delicious. Indeed, everything tastes better with butter, the more the merrier! It was a hit with my not so Indian-Indian friends as well!

Veg Puffs

Veg Puffs

Ingredients:

Puff Pastry Recipe, please click here

Veggie Filling : Or Any veg filling of your choice

2 tsp Oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
Salt to taste
1/2 cup Carrots, chopped
1/2 cup Green peas –
1/4 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp Chaat Masala
1/4 tsp Kasuri methi
1/2 tsp Garam masala powder
Red Chili Powder to taste
Coriander leaves, chopped

Instructions: 

Veggie Filling: 

Heat oil on medium heat in a pan. Add cumin seeds, once they crack add the chopped onions.

Saute till they turn translucent. Add in the ground spices except garam masala powder.
Add in the Veggies and a little salt. Mix well, cover and cook for 7-8 mins. Add the garam masala powder and cook for 30 seconds. Sprinkle over the coriander leaves and give it a stir.

Assembling the Puffs :

Pre-heat the Oven at 210°C.Line a baking tray with parchment paper or sprinkle some flour.

Cut the Pastry sheets strips to form small square/ rectangle. I like mine to be mini bite sized portions.


Put 1 tbsp (approx) of the stuffing in the center.
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Brush some water over the edges of the pastry. Fold the Pastry Sheet over the other edge and press into the sides and press away.
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Put the Puffs on the baking tray and chill for 15 minutes.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden. Reduce the temperature to 100°C and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Remove and allow to come to room temperature.

Served with beer for a more grown up version ;)

Served with beer for a more grown up version 😉

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

Filo Samosas

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One of the things I dearly miss about home is the street food.There are so many mind blowing options, totally vegetarian that would make you salivate at any time of the day. Speaking from experience, it’s not only me or my girl friends back home who are mad about Indian chaats, but also some others for instance my former Boss.An Irishman, extremely generous and ambitious, loves his Samosas too.We would have these for supper in our office canteen discussing Irish and Indian way of lives. 🙂

The twist to this recipe is that I have not used the traditional pastry for the samosa but a filo pastry and my brother would not understand why and how I would do that!Before you may wonder, this is ready made store bought pastry,which not makes it easy to use nevertheless.Well, I haven’t the courage to make my own filo yet, hopefully someday. 🙂

Makes 6 samosas

Ingredients: 6 sheets of filo, 20 by 10 cm brushed with melted butter

Samosa Filling :

3 medium sized boiled potatoes, peeled and mashed roughly
Green peas, boiled
Vegetable oil 2 tbsp
Cumin Seeds 1 tbsp
Ginger, chopped 2 tsp
Coriander seeds, 2 tsp
Green Chillies, chopped (Optional)
Red Chilli Powder 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp (Optional)
Salt, to taste
Garam Masala Podwer 1 tsp
Dry Mango powder 1/4 tsp
Lemon juice of half a lemon
Cumin Powder 1 tsp
Coriander, chopped (Optional)

Instructions :

Samosa Filling : Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds.Once it crackles, add the coriander seeds and stir for 30-40 seconds. Add the chopped ginger and green chilli and cook for 45 seconds. Add the potatoes and green peas and mix well. Add the dried spices and mix until well mixed.Add the lemon juice and cook for another minute. Turn off the heat and add the chopped coriander.Mix well.

Preheat oven to 180° C. Line baking tray with baking paper.

For the Filo : Lay a filo rectangle on the work surface with the short side facing you.Brush with melted butter. Put about 3-4 tbsp of the samosa filling on the side of the rectangle near you.
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Fold the top right hand corner over the filling, then fold the resulting triangle over, bringing the point to the bottom right hand corner to make another triangle.
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Now fold the top corner of the this triangle to the opposite side of the filo.
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I used a longer strip than required,hence I had to make some more triangles.Depending on the length of your filo,make triangles leaving an empty 1 cm strip along the bottom.
Fold this strip back over the base of the triangle and press to seal it well.
Repeat with other filo triangle to make samosas.
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Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
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Serve hot with mint Yoghurt or mint chutney or even plain old tomato ketchup!

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!