Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wanna Puff ???

Dear Foodies,

Any body interested in a Veggie Puff ???


I have always liked vegetable puffs more than samosas, though it was the samosa that was considered the Badshah of snacks !! And more the people around me raved about them, so much more my love for puffs increased ! I have no reasoning for it, probably a kiddish emotion, but it has stuck to me until now. I miss eating them can somehow manage to get samosa's in restaurants or the frozen sections of Indian grocery stores...but the puffs somehow chose to stay away from it all, they were happy sitting on the local bakery shelves hot out of the rustic ovens :-(

A few months back the craving for these beauties sky-rocketed, I guess due to their appearances in the blogs and also because it was so damn simple to make them if you had the pastry sheets !! But finding those sheets turned out to be the most difficult part for me. I looked and looked and looked ... for them in the grocery stores near my apartment and surprisingly none of them stocked those sheets, either they never had it on their list, or just stopped ordering them :-(( Finally last weekend, on my trip to Meijer's I found something similar, I was actually looking for Pepperidge puff pastry sheets, as that was what all the bloggers had mentioned, but Meijer's chose to stock only the shells !! Luckily they had this other brand which was for phyllo sheets and I blindly grabbed two boxes of those. I had no idea what they were meant for and chose to experiment with them.

The phyllo sheets are really really thin white sheets of flour dough, about 2 rolls of 8-10 stacked sheets in each box. They reminded me of the famous Andhra sweet, putharekhulu or paper sweet as I call it. Since they were that thin, I cut the long sheets into 3" rectangles and used 6 of those for each puff.

For the stuffing, I drew a blank. It felt like ages since I had a veggie puff and I totally forgot what the stuffing was. I knew it had to have potatoes and onions. After a lil consultation with my mom, I added in some green peas and carrots. It wasn't the perfect stuffing, but was surely good enough.

I made another stuffing too :-) I have been wanting to make Saffron's Paneer Burji for a looooonggg time now and since I had a near half gallon of milk close to its expiry date in the refridgerator, it was just puurrrrfect :-) hahaha

So well, here goes the recipes

Click on image to enlarge
Potato filling:


microwave till cooked:
2 nos - Potatoes; 1/2 cup - Green Peas; 1/2 cup - Carrots, grated; the last two were from the from frozen packs.

2 Tbsp - Oil; 1 tsp - mustard seeds; 1 tsp - Cumin seeds; 1 tsp - Saunf(optional); 1 inch - ginger piece, julienned; 2 nos - Green chillies, finely chopped; 1 nos - Onion, finely chopped; 1 tsp - Turmeric powder; 1 tsp - Coriander powder;

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and toss in the mustard seeds, once they start popping add the cumin seeds, saunf, ginger and green chillies, fry for a min and add the chopped onions, turmeric powder and coriander powder.
  2. Once the onions turn translucent add the boiled and peeled potatoes. Mash the potatoes with the back of the spoon or a potato masher. Add some salt and water(if needed) and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Next add the carrots and peas and cook till the spices blend in.
  4. Garnish with coriander leaves and some lemon juice.
* You can add tomatoes too after step 1 and cook for awhile before adding the potatoes :-)

Paneer stuffing:

For the Paneer Burji I followed Saffron's recipe, with the addition of tomatoes and some coriander powder instead of pepper.

Getting the Puffs ready:
  1. Thaw the pastry sheets by moving them from the freezer to the refrigerators main section.
  2. Things to have ready at hand before getting the pastry sheets out:
    • Have your stuffings ready (and photographed ;-)
    • Pre-heat the oven to about 250C
    • Clean your counter top and dust it with some flour to get rid of moisture.
    • Melt some butter and have a brush by the side if you have one
    • Have two moist tissues or a cloth ready to cover the sheets that you won't be working on immediately and a plastic wrap, cut to the length of your pastry sheets.
    • Finally, dry your hands, as any water will spoil the sheets :-)
  3. Doing all the above is really important and I learnt after loosing 1-2 sheets. On exposure to air these sheets get really brittle and cannot be shaped or used !!
  4. The pastry roll has about 8 sheets in it, un-roll and take out 4 sheets first and roll up the rest and send them into the refrigerator again.
  5. Spread out the 4 sheets and cut into 3 equal portions along the length.
  6. Place the plastic wrap over 2 of these portions and cover with a moist cloth/tissue. Placing the cloth directly will make the sheets too sticky and dough like and render them unusable !!
  7. Now carefully separate the 4 sheets of the 1st portion and brush a little butter on each and stack them up again. This is to ensure that you get your layers. You have to be really fast in all this, notice the sheets getting brittle and cracking in the pic below !!
  8. Spoon a little filling into the center or the sheets and then fold the corners onto it so as to completely cover the filling.
  9. Seal the edges by pressing them together and applying some more butter or a lil water.
  10. Brush a little butter on the top of the puff and place it on a greased and flour dusted baking tray. Immediately send the tray into the oven and bake for about 15-20 mins or till you see a uniform golden crust.
  11. As and when you have your puffs stuffed send them into the oven, keeping them out for even for a minute will make the outer sheets brittle !!
  12. Once done try to hold yourself till the puffs cool down a bit as the stuffing will be extremely hot. I had some Maggie Hot n Sweet sauce which is my favorite and it was just the perfect sauce for the puffs.
Click on image to enlarge
I initially made separate puffs for each filling, but slowly added a layer of both into each puff. You can see that in the picture above showing the stuffing on the sheets. They taste really really gooood and the ketchup was just amazing !! I finally got to eat puffs here in the US and I am sure that I will be making them more often.

You can also use sliced hard boiled eggs to make some egg puffs or use a meat filling too.

If you get the Pepperidge puff pastry sheets I would suggest you use them to make puffs. I think they are sheets of thickly stacked layers and all you will have to do is flatten them a bit, stuff them, brush a little butter on the outside and bake them. You will not have to take the trouble of buttering each sheet and seeing that they don't dry etc etc

Once you have these little wonders ready with some yummy ketchup, set yourself on the couch with some hot chai as Chandrika & Anupama have suggested in the comments and enjoy the gloomy weather outside :-)

And now, the these two veggie puffs are off to Pooja's Potato week :-), have your cup of tea ready Pooja !

28 thoughts:

FH said...

I just posted one too with Spinach stuffed Filo dough!:))

Anonymous said...

Yes I wanna a puff....~smile~...please do share

Chandrika said...

Why not? When the weather is so damn cold...And a cup of chai pls.. :-)

Shah cooks said...

Indeed, why not..any kind of puff is so good..whats the filling?

Vaishali said...

Oh sure, pass it on. Some ketchup too, please. :)

Anupama said...

Priya, those puffs look yum. You know Priya, in Pune my hometown it is a kind of tradition to eat veg pattice (which are somewhat similar to puffs)on Sunday morning along with your tea. They taste so good fresh from the bakery. Here in UK we miss those and I decide quite often to make these, though I have not done yet. On my trip to India this is one item I am definitely going to eat.

Vaishali said...

Hey Priya, I just accidently happened to see your "Food Charmer's Treasure Trove # 1" that you published way back in October. Why, thanks for all those nice words. I wish I had seen it earlier. I really really appreciate your appreciation. Thanks again.

Priya said...

@ Asha: I saw them y'day morning, and decided to try them out with the sheets I have left :-)

@ Dilipji: DO try it out Dilipji, they are really easy with the Pepperidge sheets

@ Chandrika: The weather truly made them all the more delicious !! ummm and a cup of elaichi-ginger tea will make the picture perfect !!

@ Shaheen: I experimented with the potato filling, I guess you could too :-) haha

@ Vaishali: Some Maggi Hot n Sweet ketchup just for you :-) and thank you once again for your recipes :-)

@ Anupama: That is such a wonderful way to enjoy your weekend. Start it all over again here Anu, these are very very simple to make, any leftover subzi can me made into a filling...hmmm probably another Leftovers post ;-)

Anonymous said...

hi i just read u post and wanted u to let u know u find those peepirige puffpastry sheets in wall mart in the frozen section usally the aile where u find icecream walk further exactly opposite of it in the frozen section hope i helped u there are good excatly veg puffs back home

Priya said...

@ Anon: Hi Anon, even I was sure Walmart would have it, but the one I went to dint have a frozen foods section at all !! A Walmart Supercenter might have them I guess.

Anonymous said...

Hey Pops!!
I ve always wanted to appreciate first off, your consistant culinary interest and patience to maintain a food blog and not only that, I like ur style of writing... very informal and cute!! The best part is I get to eat all of those yummy dishes b4 they even get on here!! Kudos dear... too bad we ll be parting soon... will miss all the variety of delicacies that make an otherwise sometimes mundane life, tasty!! and ofc will miss u too!! Its been great knowing ya..!

You know who!!

Pooja said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pooja said...

Hey Priya,
it's so nice of you , I really wish to grab it ust now,I have my cup of tea ready with me but can't see your puffs around...:(( .
well, I must say that you describe it will all details here such that i will have no difficulty in preparing this. thanks for sharing and paricipating :) . I am more than happy to recieve 2 entries from you for this week to add to twosome speciality :D .
stay tuned

geet said...

where I am, we make these veggie puffs called popiah Most of the time, they are filled with veggie like beansprouts. Will put the recipe on soon:)

Krithika said...

They come out really well with puff pastry sheets. yours looks good too. nice uniform golden which I never get when I use phyllo sheets.

Anonymous said...

Yummy! These do look great. Hmmn They certainly will make a great New Year's party bring along. Must try! Hugs!

Anonymous said...

Priya, ahhhhh, so this is how you make them. Ohh no, do I have to bake, me and my oven don't see eye to eye you see, we have a sour relationship...can't seem to bake to save my life.~smile~..your method seems straighforward, so I am gonna give it a try but will get Jyostna to do the actual baking...~grin~...thanks for sharing...ohh yes love the stuffing

Anonymous said...

Hi Priya,
these look yummy.I made some too with pepperidge farm pastry sheets a few weeks .
Before baking, I brush these lightly with a mixture of little milk and butter to give them a golden brown colour..check it out in my blog.
Interesting fact : it was a close friend who is also Priya, who taught me how to make them :-)

KA said...

Puffs do taste better than samosa, don't they?
I am going to try your mysore chaaru..

Mandira said...

Delicious puff, perfect for holiday snacking :) thanks for this great recipe!

Nidhi said...

Oh! I am so much interested in this vegetarian puff....Its looking very delicious :) I am here for the first time and really liked your blog.

Thanks a lot for sharing the recipe.

Mythreyee said...

Looks so good. Pictures are too good. I am sure it will taste well too. thanks for sharing this delight.

Nabeela said...

those look SCRUMPTIOUS priya!! You are turning into quite a cook...Martha Stewart beware!!

Menu Today said...

Hi Priya,
Please send me some. Here I am having hot chai. Excellent pic. Thanks for sharing.

Priya said...

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH !! Really happy to see all of you here, wish I could send some over through your computer screens ;-)

It was wonderful to eat puffs again. Try these out for the holidays with your fav filling and have a great time with your family and frnds :-) I am going to make them again this weekend as I bought two packs of these phyllo sheets, totally went overboard seeing them !! hahaa

Five Spices said...

Please tell me about the phyllo sheets. Tell me the brand name.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hey, They look good. I am gonna try this puffing once agin.
Last time I made with phyllo sheets, they came out brittle, cracked and burnt on the edges.

I missed the step pre-heat oven and the poor things dried on counter waiting for the oven. Thx, for sharing.The instructions are picture perfect.

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