Wednesday 14 February 2007

Waiter, there's something in my ... Spicy Potato and Pea Pasties

There's something about the "who's eaten all the pies" expression which somehow puts me off making and eating pies. Plus the total lack of space or equipment to properly make a pie. However, for a few days this week, I'm looking after my nephew at my sister's place, and she's got a much bigger kitchen, gas hobs and more pots and pans. Plus she likes having food on the table when she returns from work. Still, she's not a big pie eater either, so I figured I'd have to do some mini pasties or something along those lines, so that the quantity of pasty didn't seem so great. These deep-fried, potato and pea pasties seemed to fit the bill, and made a good starter, but would also make excellent finger food.

There is also the added bonus that my sister has two cameras that are better than mine, and is a professional photographer, so I could utilise not just her kitchen, but her photographic skills, even if she's more accustomed to portraits than food photography. Even without using her tripod, she takes a much better photo than I do, so well worth getting her to completely take over the photo duties (hence the number of pictures as I'm lucky to get a couple which I like when I'm doing the photos).

Sandra, the original source of my Lamb Meatball Curry, has lent me a book of easy curry recipes, and one which caught my attention was one for Potato and Pea Pasties (well, they call them Potato and Pea Pastries, but they look like pasties to me, even if they are deep-fried). The recipe looked simple enough, although, once again, wasn't made totally to the letter.

Recipe for the Pastry
  • 1.5 cups Plain Flour
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • A quarter cup Water
Sift the flour into a bowl, then make a well in the middle and add the oil and water, mixing, then kneading to make a firm but slightly elastic and smooth dough. You may need a little extra oil or water, but add early in the process, and only very small quantities. Cover the dough and leave it in the fridge for at least an hour.

Recipe for the Filling
  • 1-1.5 Baking Potatoes, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 cup Peas or Petis Pois
  • 2 tablespoons Currants
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • Half teaspoon Hot Chili Powder or Cayenne Pepper
  • Half teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • Juice of half a Lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Fish Sauce (omit if cooking for vegetarians)
  • Groundnut Oil for deep frying

Boil the cubed Potato until softening, then drain, put in a bowl and mix with the Peas, Currants, Cumin, Chili Powder, Cinnamon and Fresh Coriander. Then add the Lemon Juice and Light Soy Sauce and stir in so as not to bread any ingredients up, but ensure that all the spices have evenly covered the other ingredients.

It's probably best to divide the dough into two before rolling it out on a well floured surface. The dough should be quite elastic without breaking so that you can get it just over a millimetre thick. Then use a circular pastry cutter, or other round implement (a bowl with the assistance of a knife in my case) to cut circular pieces of about 10cm in diameter. Spoon about a heaped tablespoon of the filling in the centre of each round, and fold in half, using a fork to seal the edges. You should be able to make about 20 or so from the above ingredients.

Next, they need to be deep-fried in batches in the hot oil, turning occasionally, until they turn golden brown. Then transfer to some kitchen towel to drain off the excess oil.

They tasted good hot and cold. Slightly spicy, but with the slight tang of the citrus from the lemon juice. My nephew loved them and probably ate more than he did of the rest of the dinner. My sister will be taking the leftovers in her packed lunch tomorrow.


Jeanne said...

These look delicious - I've always been a fan of less traditional pasties, rather than the steak & kidney variety! And compliments to your sister for the lovely photos ;-) Thanks for joining in - hope to see you again at WTSIM next month!

Cindy said...

Those filling ingredients really have my interest piqued! I will probably give them a go myself.

Bron said...

Yum, these look scrummy and no doubt would be the perfect finger food to dip in a sweet mango chutney!

... Mark Mitchenall said...

Thank you so much for your kind comments. It makes it even more worthwhile than just tasting the food for myself!

I haven't had mango chutney in years. During my childhood, it always seemed that every curry my parents made, mango chutney was always there to go with it, but I've almost avoided it since to taste the food properly.

But the sweetness of a nice mango chutney always made the hotter curries go down well for a younger palette not used to spicy food, and although I hardly have it, I'm sure I'd still love it.

I'm sure it would go well with the pasties (or curry puffs, as I've seen them called since making them). But should I try and make mango chutney or buy it? I know my answer.... but I'm sure I should try to make it some day.

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