Sunday, 20 June 2010

Curried Potato and Onion Pasties

Curried Potato and Onion Pasties

I always find Fathers Day a bit tricky. My dad is notoriously hard to buy for, but as he is a food lover like myself I did a little baking for him. He's from Birmingham, the curry capital of the UK, so I thought it only right to cook him up something lovely and aromatic and spicy, but it needed to be portable too.

Samosas were a little too obvious, and bhajis and pakoras tend to go a bit soggy after fried if you don't eat them straight away, so I decided to mess around with that most traditional of UK convenience foods - the pasty.

Curried Onions and Potatoes

Of course the traditional pasty is made with minced meat, which I could easily have incorporated into these treats, but my dad and I both tend to enjoy vegetarian Indian dishes rather than those using meat - cauliflower curries, mutter paneer (peas and an Indian cheese in a mild aromatic sauce) and tarka dahl are some of our favourites along with Bombay aloo which is what the pasties are based on.

Believe me when I say that making your own curry powder blends is so so worth it. It really isn't a big hassle and you make up lots of different flavour combinations with just a few staple spices - cumin seeds, ground coriander, turmeric, ginger, garlic and cayenne pepper.

Homemade Curry Power

Bash together as many or as few as you wish in a pessel and mortar and add to curries with some stock and any meat or vegetable combinations you fancy to make a delicious quick meal.

I wrapped these beauties in greaseproof paper and tied them up with some nice ribbon to give as my Fathers Day gift and it seems that they went down a storm.

Curried Potato and Onion Pasties

Curried Potato and Onion Pasties
Makes 8

Pastry Ingredients
500g plain flour
2 tsp ground turmeric
250g cold butter, cut into small cubes
150ml cold water

1 small egg, beaten, to glaze the pasties before cooking

Curried Potato and Onion Ingredients
900g white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
250g white onions, roughly chopped
1 tbsp maldon salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp garlic granules or 1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped

Pastry Method
Place the cubed cold butter, flour and turmeric into a bowl and rub together with your finger tips. When well combined add in the cold water and mix quickly with a knife until it comes together. Give it a quick knead with your hands until thoroughly combined, then wrap in cling film and place in the fridge while you make the filling.

Filling Method
Place the cubed potatoes into a large pan of boiling water, bring back to the boil, then cover and boil for 4-5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Put all the salt and spices into a pessel and mortar and grind them together until you get a nice smooth powder. Fry with the onions in the olive oil for 5 or so minutes until soft and fragrant.

Add the par-boiled potatoes and cook on medium for a further 10 minutes. Take off the heat and leave to cool completely.

Putting The Pasties Together
Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F.

Take the pastry out of the fridge and divide into 8 equal portions. Roll each one out until it about 5mm thick and cut into a roughly 6.5" circle, I used a small side bowl as a template.

Place about 2 tbsp of the cold potato and onion mixture into the centre of the pastry circle, then brush a little of the beaten egg around the edges. Fold the two sides together and squash the edges together with a fork leaving a pretty indent in the dough. Place on a baking sheet and brush all over with more of the egg mixture so they come out nice and shiny.

Cook for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and shiny, then remove from the oven and either eat straight away or leave them to cool before wrapping or eating cold.

Curried Potato and Onion Pasties

These taste even better dipped into some cool minty raita you can find a recipe here or you can buy some good premade ones from the chilled section in most supermarkets.

You can eat the potato and onion filling on it's own or use it as a side dish - I really like it wrapped in lettuce leaves with some natural yoghurt.

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