THE CHICKEN PATTICE STORY IN INDIA

FROM PASTY TO PATTICE

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHICKEN PUFF IN INDIA

Nahoum’s Chicken Pattice (Kolkota)

 

Some of my debut film ‘Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin’ was filmed in south Mumbai. A film about one eventful night we began shoots at 7 p.m. and invariably director Sudhir Mishra and some of the crew ended up at Kayani’s Café early the following morning.  Fortified by cups of sweet Irani chai and flaky chicken pattice that came straight out of Kayani’s dinosaur ovens, I’d race off to St Xavier’s College for economics class. 

Everyone in Mumbai has an Irani café story and pattice are an integral part of the menu.

Jimmy Boys Caramelized onion puff (Ballard estate, Mumbai)

It is suggested that Indian chicken and Mutton Pattice also called Chicken Pattie and puffs is a ‘desi’ variant of the Cornish Pasty introduced to the colonies by the British. While a typical Cornish Pasty in England is a crimped, stuffed D shaped savory made with short crust pastry or rough puff (flour and fat), most Chicken Pattice at Irani bakeries and private English era clubs are a version of the layered French puff pastry or pâte feuilleté. 

Pasties, patties and pattice fall into the ‘portable pies’ category that includes turnovers, calzones, empanadas, pop tarts, Natchitoches and Stromboli. There are numerous references, entire cookbooks even dedicated to these stuffed pies throughout medieval history. They were cheap to make, easy to carry and very satisfying. It is no wonder they have been adapted the world over.

In my 1765 edition of Hannah Glasse’s ‘The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy’ the author provides a recipe for puff paste and for patties and pasties. Curiously some of the recipes like this one for Beef Patties require the pastry to be fried. 

This is unusual because while the fillings, shape and size of Patties and pasties have varied during its evolution they are almost always baked.

Food historian Clifford Wright alludes to the Middle East for the origins of these pocket pies. In 9th century Baghdad Sanbusaks or Samosa, a stuffed fried triangular pastry faintly resemble the calzone. 

Kayanis chicken and mutton puffs (Dhobi Talao Mumbai)

The Persians made Baghlava Esfhani, a sweet D shaped pastel and Boreks, fine yufka dough stuffed with meat originated in the Ottoman Empire.

 Larousse Gastronomique links Pasty to Bastilla or Bestila, the national dish of Morocco. Some suggest Pastilla has Arab Andalusian origins from the time of the Caliphates in the 8th century. Pastilla in Spanish means ‘small pastry’ and employs a fine werqa dough. The B in Arabic replaced the ‘P’. The King of Spain Philip II had a fondness for Bastilla. 

In cookbooks dating 1129 to 1200 the French were making a kind of stuffed pie called pastilles.

Pastis (not to be confused with anise flavored liqueur) is derived from the French word pâte meaning pie.  Pastis Landais, Gascon and bourrit are all made with different kinds of dough but are often served as individual pies.

Author Claudia Roden refers to Turkish Pasteles de Carnes made by Sephardic Jews from Greece. The Syrians also make a pie called Pastelis.

Kolumna in Russia claims to have invented a sweet Pastilla with egg whites and has a museum dedicated to this pie. Corsicans still make Bastella, a meat and vegetable filled pie pastry.

I also found mentions of patties, pastie and puffs in Rundell’s ‘A New System of Domestic Cookery’ (1814). Interestingly the terms are used interchangeably but they all employ puff pastry, are individual pies, stuffed and baked. 

Boston Cooking School Cookbook (1898)

Cornish pasty can be traced back to 1300 A.D. in Cornwall when it was a miner’s food and contained only potatoes. Meat was added later. It is said that King William the Lion (1143 A.D.) served wastelli dominici to Richard the Lion-Hearted. 

The Cornish pasty has a PGI – Protected Geographical status now and the Cornish Pasty Association (yes there is one!) insists it be made with beef, must contain no other vegetables besides turnip (swede, also called Rutabaga in the U.S.A), onion and potato. It also lays out specifications for the kind of dough (not too flaky but hearty and robust enough to survive a trip down a mine shaft in someone’s pocket). Some traditionalists suggest the addition of bread flour to the dough. In order to be sold as a Cornish pasty the savory must be made in Cornwall. 

Cornish Pasty is believed to have travelled to America in the 1830’s when 37000 miners immigrated to the USA. Their coal mining expertise was in great demand and its possible with them went the food they loved the most.

In parts of the USA like Michigan and Pennsylvania where the Pasty continues to be popular the dough is sometimes made like choux pastry by boiling butter, water and flour over a stove. The Cornish pasty evolved a little differently in Jamaica where the traditional patty is dough seasoned with turmeric and is often served vada pao style with a coconut bread bun. The journey this culinary delight took through the colonies transformed the plain vegetable and meat fillings into more flavorful versions spiced with scotch bonnets, garlic and curry spices. 

Cafe Excelsior Spicy Chicken Puff (Fort Mumbai)

On the other hand in the USA and UK a patty is also a breaded cutlet like a cutlet or tikki in India, (the Ragda Pattice is a curried potato cutlet) though the term is also used to describe burger patties in school canteens. An empanada or Brazilian pastel would best describe a pasty in the USA, while a turnover made with puff pastry would most closely resemble an Indian chicken patty. rectangles, even round.  

My favorite chicken pattice came from Bastani near Metro cinema before it closed. In Mumbai Jimmy Boy’s make a delicious caramelized onion and paneer puff that closely resembles the shape of the Cornish pasty. You can also buy a spicy chicken puff from Café Excelsior Fort. Wengers in New Delhi and Nimrah in Hyderabad, Flurys and Nahoum’s in Kolkata.

Devilled eggs

Devilled eggs also known as eggs a la Mimosa have been around since the late 1800’s. Essentially a halved hard boiled egg with the yolk seasoned and whipped is piped back into the egg. Its a wonderful base to add various flavours to. I do a coconut and Thai curry version, an Indian version with green chutney, sometimes  I add parsley or chives.

8 eggs

1/2  cup good quality mayonnaise

1.5  teaspoon lime juice

1 teaspoon ground yellow mustard paste such as Dujon or hot sauce of your choice

2 tsp water

salt and pepper to taste

cayenne pepper for sprinkling

Freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons of Ikura (salmon roe) (optional)

 

Optional additions and topping

Chopped herbs like parsley and tarragon

Chorizo, ham, smoked salmon

METHOD

  1. Place eggs in a in a saucepan and cover with enough water that there’s 1 1/2 inches of water above the eggs. Heat on high until water begins to boil, and cook for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and then rinse under cold tap water continuously for 2 minutes. Let sit in cold water for 10-15 minutes until totally cool.
  2. Prepare a small bowl of cold water. Crack egg shells and carefully peel them inside the cold water. Gently dry with paper towels and place the egg on another plate.
  3. Once all the eggs are done slice the eggs in half lengthwise. Carefully spoon out  yolks to a medium bowl, and reserve the whites on a serving platter.
  4. Using a hand or stand mixer whip the egg yolks with lime juice, mustard, 2 tsp water a little salt and black pepper until smooth about 2 minutes on medium speed.
  5. .Add mayonnaise and whip again until smooth and creamy. Adjust for salt.
  6. Spoon this mixture into a piping bag with a tip of your choice and pipe into each egg cavity.
  7.  Sprinkle with cayenne, herbs if you choose and some Ikura on top and serve.

HOMEMADE MAYONNAISE

Mayonnaise first came on the scene in the 1700’s a recipe that is believed to have been conceived and developed by the great Chef Anton Careme. Mayonnaise changed the culinary world because it could replace ingredients like cream, enrich, thicken, stabilize so many different recipes and ingredients that it became a substitute for cream and gelatine and soon led to the north of hundreds of recipes based on its qualities. it is used in salads, sandwiches, soups,  as a side, a spread and a thickening agent.

It involves beating egg yolks over a long period of time while slowly incorporating oil into it.

The technique and the recipe is very simple. What is required is patience because in the ‘old’ days it was prepared by hand with a wire whisk.

The lack of time and patience is what created millionaires like Hellmans and Heinz who quickly

created packaged mayonnaise to replace homemade mayo and soon this ingredient because. permanent fixture in every kitchen worldwide.

Even today when hand and stand mixers make this task so much easier folks buy their mayonnaise. But nothing beats a homemade mayo. Its just two ingredients oil and egg yolks and you can use pretty much any oil you like. Add a few drops of basil or chilli oil to your vegetable oil. Add sesame or avocado oil.

Add any flavouring spice and herb you choose. Add minced garlic to make aioli. The sky is the limit.

For this of you who are vegan try my vegan tofu mayonnaise recipe also on this site. Watch the video on my IGTV feed.

Ingredients

. 3 egg yolks room temperature not cold

1 tablespoon wine vinegar or lemon juice (

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon dry or prepared mustard

1½ to 2¼ cups of vegetable or olive oil room temperature and not cold

1 tablespoon boiling water

 

METHOD

Beat the egg yolks for 1 to 2 minutes  using a hand or stand mixer with a ballon whisk until they are thick and sticky.

Add a drop of oil and beat again. Every one minute add one drop of oil for about 6-7 minutes.

Then increase the speed and add a teaspoon at a time. Keeping whisking.

Once the mayonnaise begins to thicken add the vinegar or lemon juice, salt and mustard. Beat for 30 seconds more.

Add more oil and continue to beat until all the oil is used up.

Now whisk the boiling water into the sauce quickly. This is an anti-curdling measure that will help produce a smooth mayonnaise that will be more resistant to splitting when added to say a hot soup or baked.

Season to taste. Scrape into an airtight container and refrigerate upto 10 days.

EGG SALAD WITH VINEGARED ONIONS AND TOMATOES

Egg Salads can be spiced and flavoured in many ways. This is a recipe I make at home when I want a quick lunch.

 

INGREDIENTS FOR 4

8 SLICES GOOD QUALITY SANDWICH BREAD THICKLY SLICED OR CRACKERS OF YOUR CHOICE

SOFTENED UNSALTED BUTTER (OPTIONAL)

LETTUCE LEAVE SOF YOUR CHOICE

1 CUP HOME-MADE MAYONNAISE (REFER RECIPE) OR GOOD QUALITY STORE BROUGHT EGG BASED MAYO

8 SOFT BOILED EGGS PEELED AND QUARTERED (REFER HOW TO BOIL AN EGG)

1/2 CUP RED ONION FINELY CHOPPED AND SOAK IN A TEASPOON OF WHITE VINEGAR

7-8  FIRM CHERRY TOMATOES QUARTERED OR 2 SMALL FIRM PLUM TOMATO CHOPPED FINELY, LIQUIDS DISCARDED

1 TSP TOMATO PASTE OR KETCHUP

CAYENNE PEPPER OR RED CHILLI POWDER

1/4 CUP FINELY CHOPPED CURLY PARSLEY OR FRESH CORIANDER LEAVES

METHOD

 

COMBINE THE MAYONNAISE, TOMATO PASTE OR KETCHUP, 1/2 TSP CAYENNE PEPPER, 1 TEASPOON SALT, CORIANDER OR PARSLEY, TOMATOES AND ONIONS AND STIR WELL. ADD THE EGGS AND MASH CORASELY.

ADJUST FOR SEASONINGS.

BUTTER BREAD OF YOUR CHOICE. PLACE THE SALAD LEAVES OVER THE BREAD AND THEN SPREAD THE EGG SALAD OVER IT. GARNISH WITH CORIANDER OR PARSLEY LEAVES AND SPRINKLE LIGHTLY WITH CAYENNE.

 

MINT EGG SALAD ON BREAD

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS FOR 4

10-12  SLICES OF BAGUETTE SLICED OR USE 8 SLICES OF GOOD QUALITY SANDWICH BREAD THICKLY SLICED OR CRACKERS OF YOUR CHOICE

SOFTENED UNSALTED BUTTER (OPTIONAL)

4 TSP MUSTARD PASTE SUCH AS DUJON

3/4 CUP HOME-MADE MAYONNAISE (REFER RECIPE) OR GOOD QUALITY STORE BROUGHT EGG BASED MAYO

8 SOFT BOILED EGGS PEELED AND QUARTERED (REFER HOW TO BOIL AN EGG)

1 CUP FRESH TENDER SPEARMINT LEAVES WASHED, ALL STALKS REMOVED AND FINELY CHOPPED

JUICE OF HALF A LIME

1/4 TEASPOON GROUND CARAWAY (AJWAIN) SEEDS (OPTIONAL)

2-3 INDIAN GREEN CHILLIES FINELY CHOPPED

1 TSP FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER

SALT TO TASTE

METHOD-

SPREAD BUTTER AND MUSTARD ON THE BREAD OF YOUR CHOICE. IF USING CRACKERS ADD THE MUSTARD TO THE MAYONNAISE AND MIX WELL.

COMBINE MINT LEAVES, CHILLIES, AJWAIN, LIME JUICE AND MAYONNAISE IN A BOWL AND MIX WELL. ADD THE EGGS AND MASH COARSELY. ADD SALT TO TASTE. ADD BLACK PEPPER AND STIR AGAIN.

SERVE AS A DIP WITY CRACKERS OR SPREAD OVER PLAIN OR TOASTED SANDWICH BREAD OR SLICED BAGUETTE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MYSORE BONDA OR GOLI BHAJJI

Goli Bhajji

A classic Mangalore recipe also called Mysore Bonda and Mangalore Bhaji.

Ingredients

• 3 Green chillies v finely chopped

• 1 tsp Cumin seeds

• 1 tsp julienned Ginger root

• 1 cup water at room temperature

• 1 tablespoon coconut cut into 1/4 inch pieces

• 1 cup plain whole milk Yoghurt(curd)

• 1/4 cup fine rice flour

  • 1 cup maida or all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Vegetable oil for frying

Method:

Combine the flours, sugar and baking soda and stir in cumin, coconut, green chilies, ginger and a teaspoon of salt. Whisk curd and water together. Stir into the flour mixture. You should have a thick batter. Cover and let sit for 1 hour. Do not over beat this batter or you will have tough fritters.

Heat oil to fry on high flame in a small wok or kadai. Fashion the batter using two teaspoons into small balls about an inch wide and fry in hot oil, cook on a medium flame. First fry one until golden brown. Taste it and adjust seasonings before you do the rest. The batter  should be cooked through.

Serve them with your choice of coconut chutney. Recipe for white coconut chutney is here http://www.taradeshpande.in/udupi-style-clas…-coconut-chutney

BUTTERMILK MASALA CHICKEN PAKODAS

Soaking the chicken in buttermilk tenderises it beautifully.

INGREDIENTS SERVES 3-4 PERSONS

1/2 LITER PLAIN BUTTERMILK

1 KG CHICKEN CUT INTO 10 PIECE WITH BONELESS, SKINLESS

Grind together to form a smooth paste-

2 GREEN CHILLIES STALK REMOVED FINELY CHOPPED

2 TBSP GARLIC AND GINGER PASTE

1 TSPNS CUMIN POWDER

1 TEAPSOON TURMERIC OR HALDI POWDER

2 TBSP GOOD QUALITY GARAM MASALA POWDER

1 TEAPSOON RED CHILLI POWDER

1.5 TEASPOONS SALT

For the batter combine just before frying-

2 CUPS BESAN OR CHICK PEA FLOUR

1/2 TEASPOON SALT

1/2 TEASPOON TURMERIC POWDER

MEDIUM WOK AND VEGETABLE OIL FOR FRYING

METHOD-

SOAK THE CHICKEN IN BUTTERMILK, COVER AND REFRIGERATE OVERNIGHT.

DRAIN CHICKEN FROM THE BUTTERMILK AND RESERVE BUTTERMILK. STEAM THE CHICKEN IN A PRESSURE COOKER FOR 1 WHISTLE ON A MEDIUM FLAME UNTIL PAR-COOKED. COOL COMPLETELY.

ADD THE GROUND MASALA PASTE TO THE WET BUT DRAINED CHICKEN PIECES AND MIX WELL SO IT COATS THE CHICKEN PIECES EVENLY.

COVER AND LET SIT IN A COOL PART OF THE KITCHEN FOR 1/2 AN HOUR.

ADD THE CHICK PEA FLOUR MIXTURE TO THE CHICKEN AND TOSS WELL TO COAT EACH PIECE. ADD SOME OF THE RESERVED BUTTERMILK TO ENSURE THE BATTER COVERS THE CHICKEN PIECES COMPLETELY.

HEAT ENOUGH OIL IN YOUR KADAI OR WOK TO COVER THE CHICKEN PIECES WHEN THEY FRY. HEAT THIS OIL ON A HIGH FLAME AND REDUCE TO MEDIUM JUST BEFORE YOU FRY THE PIECES.

FRY 1 PIECE UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN AND COOKED THROUGH. TASTE FOR SALT AND ADJUST SALT FOR BATTER IF REQUIRED. FRY 3-4 PIECES AT A TIME UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN.

SERVE WITH WEDGES OF LIME AND ONION RINGS.

MAKES A GREAT APPETISER AND CAN ALSO BE SERVED WITH A SIDE SALAD OR LENTILS AND RICE.

 

 

MASALA BATATA WADA-POTATO FRITTERS

Batata Wadas are among the most popular street food of India. made with potatoes and spices my version is ideal for festive and religious occasions when onion and garlic is absent from menus. I use a dark Khandeshi masala to bring zing to this recipe.

You will find it here  http://www.taradeshpande.in/khandeshi-kala-masala/

MAKES 8

1/2 KG BROWN COOKING POTATOES STEAMED AND PEELED

1.5 TBSP KHANDESHI KAALA MASALA (readymade or home made) OR USE A GOOD GARAM MASALA

JUICE OF HALF A LIME

2 TBSP FINELY CHOPPED CORIANDER LEAVES (OPTIONAL)

FOR TEMPERING-

1 TEASPOON BLACK MUSTARD SEEDS

PINCH ASAFETIDA

2 TBSP VEGETABLE OIL

2-3 INDIAN GREEN CHILLIES FINELY CHOPPED (OR TO TASTE)

FOR BATTER-

1.5 CUPS BESAN OR CHICKPEA FLOUR

1/2 TEASPOON SALT

1/2 TEASPOON TURMERIC POWDER

WATER

VEGETABLE OIL FOR FRYING

METHOD

PLACE THE PEELED POTATOES IN A MIXING BOWL. ALLOW THEM TO COOL.

HEAT OIL IN A SMALL SKILLET OR TEMPERING SPOON ON HIGH HEAT. ADD THE MUSTARD SEEDS AND COOK 1 MINUTE. ADD ASAFETIDA AND GREEN CHILLIES AND TURN OFF FLAME. POUR OVER THE POTATOES.

STIR WITH A SPOON. ADD ALL REMAINING INGREDIENTS AND MASH COARSELY.

ADD SALT TO TASTE. ADD MORE MASALA TO SUT YOUR PALATE. DIVIDE THE POTATOES INTO 8-19 BALLS.

STIR TOGETHER INGREDIENTS FOR THE BATTER AND ADD WATER ABOUT 3/4 CUP TO FORM A THICK BATTER THAT YOU CAN DIP THE POTATOE BALLS INTO.

HEAT 3 INCHE SOF OIL IN A MEDIUM SIZE KADAI OR WOK ON HIGH HEAT. WHEN OIL IS HOT BUT NOT SMOKING REDUCE TO MEDIUM FLAME. DIP POTATO BALLS IN THE BATTER SO AS TO COVER THE BALL COMPLETELY. RELEASE INTO HOT OIL USING A SLOTTED SPOON. DO UP TO 3 AT A TIME. FRY UNTIL GOLDEN ON ALL SIDES. DRAIN AND SERVE WARM WITH A CHUTNEY OF YOUR CHOICE SUCH AS KARWARI CHUTNEY OR A AMBADA CHUTNEY.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/ambada-and-cocon…-coconut-chutney/

http://www.taradeshpande.in/karwari-red-chut…h-chopped-onions/

http://www.taradeshpande.in/udupi-style-clas…-coconut-chutney/

AMBADA AND COCONUT CHUTNEY-HOG PLUM AND COCONUT CHUTNEY

AMBADA ARE HOG PLUMS AND USED AS A SOURING AGENT ESPECIALLY ON THE WESTERN COASTLINE OF INDIA.

INGREDIENTS FOR 1.25 CUPS CHUTNEY

1.5 CUPS GRATED FRESH WHITE MEAT OF COCONUT.

1 RAW GREEN HOG PLUM OR AMBADA, PEELED

1-2 INDIAN GREEN CHILLIES (OR TO TASTE)

FOR TEMPERING

5 SMALL YOUNG GREEN CURRY LEAVES

1/2 TEASPOON BLACK MUSTARD SEEDS

PINCH ASAFETIDA

METHOD

THE LIME SIZED AMBADA HAS A GREEN SKIN THAT SHOULD BE PEELED TO REVEAL A HARD WHITE FRUIT. IF ITS VERY RAW THE SEEDS INSIDE WILL BE RELATIVELY INSEPARABLE FROM THE PULP. USE HALVE THIS FRUIT AND GRATE COARSELY. ADD MORE TO TASTE.

GRIND THE GREEN CHILLI COCONUT AND AMBADA TO A SMOOTH PASTE. ADD A LITTLE WATER TO FACILITATE GRINDING. ADD SALT TO TASTE AND MORE AMBADA IF YOU WANT IT MORE SOUR.

HEAT OIL ON HIGH HEAT. ADD MUSTARD SEEDS AND COOK 30 SECONDS. ADD CURRY LEAVES AND ASAFETIDA AND REMOVE FROM FLAM. COOL AND POUR OVER CHUTNEY. STIR WELL.

TASTE AGAIN AND ADJUST FOR SALT. SERVE WITH BATATA WADAS, PURIS, DOSAS AND IDLIS.

 

 

MANGO,AVOCADO AND CUCUMBER SALSA

Mango Avocado Cucumber Salsa

This is a simple but delicious dip I like to serve with baked potato or tortilla chips, banana chips even rice crackers. Add more or less green chilli to suit your taste. Avocado blackens very quickly so if you plan to wait several hours before you eat this dip peel, chop and add the avocado just before you serve it.

Ingredients for 6-7 persons

2 large ripe but firm mangoes (lambda, Chausa) peeled and cubed into half inch pieces
1 large ripe avocado (1 Florida or 2 Haas) peeled and cubed into half inch pieces
Zest of one lemon
Juice of half a lemon
2-3 Indian green chillies or use 2 bird chillies finely chopped and mixed with a teaspoon of kitchen salt
5 bulbs scallions or green onions finely chopped, set aside 2 tablespoons as a garnish
5 inches of green onion stalks or scallion stalks finely chopped
1 seedless cucumber peeled and diced into half inch pieces
More salt to taste

Method-
Combine all the ingredients and toss well but do not mash, you want the pieces to stay intact. Add more salt to taste. Garnish with two tablespoons green onion stalks Serve cold with chips of your choice. If you are worried about spiciness serve some sour cream or strained yogurt on the side.