PUFF PASTRY IN INDIA

Puff Pastry photo Tara Deshpande

 

Puff Pastry- Where to Buy It in Mumbai and What to Make with It

Before the chicken puff came puff pastry. In India Pattice and savory Khara biscuits available at Irani cafes are the most commonly eaten snack made from puff pastry. 

Puff Pastry also known as butter paste and puff paste originated in France where it is called pâte feuilletée or feuilletage. Feuille is the French word for leaf.

 Puff pastry, unlike pâte brisée is a laminated dough where layers of dough are repeatedly rolled and rested with layers of butter to produce a very flaky, fine and crisp dough.  In some early, medieval recipes eggs were also added to the dough. 

The process is far more time consuming than short crust or the choux pastry (pate a choux) so many home cooks buy it frozen or readymade at a bakery.

photo Gallica

The first published recipe for puff pastry appeared in François Pierre La Varenne‘s “Pastissier Francois” in 1653.

But it was invented some years before this in 1645 by a French pastry cook’s apprentice, Claudius Gele who accidentally stumbled upon the technique for puff pastry while trying to make a loaf of bread for his bed ridden father. 

Claudius later went to work for the Brothers Mosca’s pastry shop in Florence, Italy where he continued to produce the puff pastry for his employers all the while keeping the recipe secret. He made his employers a fortune. 

While many food historians agree puff paste was a logical outcome of short crust pastry others believe that it was influenced by Middle Eastern Phyllo and werqa dough made with olive oil and fine sheets of dough. 

My 1765 edition of The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy by a Lady has an early recipe for ‘Puff-pafte’. By the early 1800’s Puff Pastry become the standard term used in English cookbooks.

photo

 

In Mumbai you can buy Puff Pastry to order at Worli’s City Bakery.  They sell it by the kilogram and must be ordered with 24 hour notice. It is also available refrigerated in 250 gram sheets at American Bakery in Byculla. Both are vegan. Check with the local Irani cafés in your city –if they make khara biscuits and pattice, chances are they will sell you the readymade dough. You can also buy it in the frozen section in supermarkets and some club shops.

I would advise you keep the fresh puff pastry refrigerated (not frozen) at all times and use it within 24 hours.

For me puff pastry is the go to when I don’t have time to make leavened dough or a short crust pastry.

Here are some of the easy, elegant and delicious recipes I make. You can also make chicken pot pies, cheese straws, vol au vents, poisson en croute (whole fish wrapped in pastry.

No Huff, Puff Pizza photo Bini Bharucha

NO HUFF PUFF PIZZA

Perfect for large groups, you can add on almost any filling.  While this recipe calls for a red sauce you can also do a Pizza Bianco or a sweet dessert pizza with fruit compote and almonds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NAPOLEONS

This classic layered dessert should be served plated as individual portions. They are impressive and elegant but easy to make.

Napoleons with pastry cream and fruit photo by Bini Bharucha

http://www.taradeshpande.in/mixed-fruit-napoleons-with-pastry-cream/

MUSHROOM AND GOAT’S CHEESE BEGGARS PURSES

Beggars Purses with puff pastry photo Beynaz Mistri

Knotted with chives these delicate purses can be stuffed with meat, prawns, tofu or turn them into a dessert.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/puff-pastry-beggars-purses-with-mushrooms-goats-cheese-and-thyme/

APPLE, HONEY AND CINNAMON TURNOVERS photo Bini Bharucha

Turnovers are so easy. I bake them just before the dessert course and serve them warm with vanilla ice cream and some honey drizzled over the top. A winner! 

http://www.taradeshpande.in/easy-apple-honey-and-cinnamon-turnovers/

 

Poisson En Croute

A classic French preparation this is a complex dish but makes a spectacular main course.

poisson en croute with puff pastry photo Tara Deshpande

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GREEN MASALA EGG SALAD SANDWICH

THIS INDIAN STYLE EGG SALAD SANDWICH IS DELICIOUS WITH A COLD BEER OR LIMBOO PAANI.

 

INGREDIENTS FOR 4

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

SOFTENED UNSALTED BUTTER (OPTIONAL)

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 CUP CILANTRO OR CORIANDER LEAVES CLEANED AND WASHED (ALL STALKS REMOVED)

1 FEW SPRIGS TO GARNISH

1-2 INDIAN GREEN CHILLIES STALKED REMOVED

1 LARGE CLOVE GARLIC

1 TSP WHITE VINEGAR OR TO TASTE

PINCH SUGAR OR TO TASTE

SALT TO TASTE

PUREE THE CORIANDER, GREEN CHILLI AND GARLIC IN A SMALL MIXER WITHOUT WATER.

STIR AND BLITZ AGAIN. ADD 2 TABLESPOONS MAYONNAISE AND GRIND TO A SMOOTH PASTE.

ADJUST FOR SOUR SWEET AND SPICY BY ADDING MORE VINEGAR, SUGAR OR GREEN CHILLIES.

ADD THE CHUTNEY AND REMAINING MAYO TO A MIXING BOWL AND STIR WELL. ADD THE EGGS AND COARSELY MASH THE QUARTERED EGGS. DO NOT MAKE THIS INTO A PASTE. THE MIXTURE SHOULD BE CHUNKY.

TASTE FOR SALT. SEASON WITH SOME BLACK FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER.

REMOVE CRUSTS FROM BREAD IF DESIRED. TOAST THE BREAD OR KEEP PLAIN AS IN PHOTO BELOW. BUTTER BREAD IF DESIRED. SLATHER ONTO TOAST OR PLAIN BREAD OR SERVE WITH SOME THICK CRACKERS. GARNISH WITH FRESH CORIANDER SPRIGS. KEEP REFRIGERATED.

 

KERALA BEETROOT PACHCHADI -BEETROOT AND YOGURT CURRY

Ingredients for 4

2 peeled and Grated Beetroot
1 tsp grated fresh peeled Ginger root
3 indian Green chillies
1/4 cup freshly grated white meat of Coconut
1 tsp black Mustard seeds
1 cup Plain  Yogurt /Curd
8-10 fresh green Curry leaves
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon Coconut Oil

2 tsp vegetable oil

Directions-

Steam the grated beetroot with 1/2 cup water for 3-4 minutes until softened but not mushy.

Grind 1/2 the black mustard seeds to a fine powder. Add the grated coconut, green chillies ginger and grind again into a smooth paste . Add yogurt or curd a little at a time to facilitate grinding.
Add the coconut paste to the beetroot with one cup of water and cook on a slow flame, stirring from time to time for 10-12 minutes.  Remove from the fire.
Heat both oisl for tempering in a small frying pan or tempering spoon and add the remaining mustard seeds and cook till they splutter about 1 minute. Add  curry leaves and 2 green chillies and cook 1 minute. Pour over the pachadi. Mix well.

Serve with steamed rice.

UDUPI STYLE CLASSIC WHITE COCONUT CHUTNEY

UDUPI STYLE CLASSIC WHITE COCONUT CHUTNEY

UDUPI STYLE CLASSIC WHITE COCONUT CHUTNEY

Ingredients

FOR CHUTNEY

2 CUPS FRESHLY GRATED WHITE MEAT OF COCONUT

1 TEASPOON ROASTED CHANA DAL

1 TEASPOON TAMARIND CONCENTRATE

1-2 INDIAN GREEN CHILLI OR TO TASTE

2 TBSP VEGETABLE OIL

SALT TO TASTE

FOR TEMPERING

1 TEASPOON WHOLE BLACK MUSTARD SEEDS

PINCH ASAFETIDA

1/2 TEASPOON URAD DAL OR SPLIT WHITE BENGAL GRAM (HURIGADALE)

2-3 FRESH GREEN CURRY LEAVES

Instructions

GRIND ALL THE INGREDIENTS FOR THE CHUTNEY TOGETHER. ADD A LITTLE WATER AT A TIME TO FACILITATE GRINDING. ADD SALT TO TASTE.

HEAT VEGETABLE OIL ON A MEDIUM FLAME IN A SMALL SKILLET OR TEMPERING SPOON.

ADD MUSTARD SEEDS AND COOK ONE MINUTE. ADD REMAINING INGREDIENTS AND SAUTE UNTIL CRISP AND FRAGRANT. POUR OVER CHUTNEY AND STIR WELL. SERVE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/udupi-style-classic-white-coconut-chutney/

POMMES DAUPHINOISE GRATIN

POMMES DAUPHINOISE GRATIN

POMMES DAUPHINOISE GRATIN

Ingredients

Pommes Dauphinoise Gratin comes from the Dauphine region of France. It differs from Pommes Dauphinoise, which are deep fried choux pastry made with mashed potatoes.

Traditionally the gratin version is made with very finely sliced raw potatoes layered and baked in cream. Slicing potatoes this fine requires a mandolin, which is not always available. Here I depart from tradition and parboil the potatoes before I bake them. This ensures the potatoes cook through in the oven.The addition of cheese and eggs varies in chefs' accounts.

I do not use eggs but I do use cheese. This vegetarian dish is served with some variety of roast meat.

You could also serve it with the Lentil salad recipe in my cookbook An Indian Sense of Salad (Penguin). You will need ideally an 8 inch square or round that is.5 inches deep. You can also use a 9 by 13 but you will get less layers.

SERVES 5-6 AS A SIDE DISH

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

500ml double cream

500ml milk

3/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

4 garlic cloves, smashed

8 large cooking potatoes-ideally a waxy potato like Talegaon or Maris Piper

salt and white pepper to taste

120g shredded gruyère or use a melting cheese

Instructions

Heat oven to 190C/170C.

Peel the potatoes and slice them into rounds about 1/4 inch thick.

Place them in a wide and deep pan with the garlic, nutmeg, milk and cream and bring to a slow boil.

As soon as it reaches a boil switch off the flame and using a slotted spoon remove the sliced potatoes from the liquid and put them on a plate. Do not over cook the potatoes. They must be soft but also keep their shape when baked.

Butter gratin dish.

Using tongs arrange potatoes in layers in a gratin dish.

Add salt to the leftover cream and milk and adjust for taste. Stir in a little white pepper.

Pour over the layered potatoes. Use a soup to make sure all the potatoes are well steeped in the liquid and bake in the oven for 35 minutes.

Open oven and scatter the Gruyere cheese over the gratin and broil until golden brown.

Serve immediately.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/pommes-dauphinoise-gratin/

Gobi ke Pakore- Cauliflower Fritters

Cauliflower Pakoras- Cauliflower Fritter

Cauliflower Pakoras- Cauliflower Fritter

Ingredients

FOR THE FRITTERS

1/2 kg cauliflower head cuts into small florets with stem about 1.25 to 1.5 inches in length and 1 inch wide

Juice half a lime

1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander or cilantro leaves

2 green chillies very finely chopped

FOR THE BATTER

1/2 cup chick pea flour or besan

2 tablespoons rice flour

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder

1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Heat a large saucepan of water on a high flame. When it reaches a boil immerse the cauliflower florets in the boiling water. Let sit 2 minutes, then drain completely.

Wash the cauliflower in cool running water and drain completely.

Combine the lime juice, coriander leaves, green chillies, turmeric, garlic ginger paste and salt. Toss well to coat all the florets. and let sit covered 20 minutes.

In a mixing bowl combine the ingredients for the batter. Using a tablespoon add the flours and spices to the cauliflower 2 tablespoons at a time. Stir well. Allow the flours to absorb the liquid in the florets. Keep adding flour until it clings to the cauliflower. Add water if required a tablespoon at a time.

Do not create a wet runny batter. You want the pakoras to be crispy. The more water you add the more oily and soft the fritter will be. Stop adding the flour once you have a thick sticky, clumpy batter. Taste for seasoning and adjust.

Heat 2.5 inches of oil in a small kadai or wok on high heat. When oil is hot but not smoking reduce flame to medium. Fry one pakora until golden brown. Drain and taste for doneness and salt.

Adjust salt in batter if required.

Repeat with remaining fritters. Serve warm with ketchup or a chutney of your choice.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/gobi-ke-pakore-cauliflower-fritters/

QUICKEST STOVETOP MACARONI AND CHEESE

QUICKEST STOVETOP MACARONI AND CHEESE

QUICKEST STOVETOP MACARONI AND CHEESE

Ingredients

SERVES 3-4

1.5 CUPS WHOLEMILK

1.5 CUPS WATER

200 GRAMS MACARONI

1 CUP SMOKED GOUDA SHREDDED OR CHOPPED INTO SMALL PIECES

1/2 CUP BUFALO MOZARELLA DI LATTE IN PIECES

SALT AND PEPPER TO SEASON

Instructions

HEAT THE MILK AND WATER IN A LARGE SAUCEPAN UNTIL IT REACHES A BOIL. ADD THE UNCOOKED MACARONI AND COOK STIRRING FROM TIME TO TIME UNTIL MACARONI IS AL DENTE.

STIR IN THE CHEESES AND MIX UNTIL WELL COMBINED AND THE CHEESE HAS MELTED. SWITCH OFF FLAME AND SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER. SERVE HOT.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/quickest-stovetop-macaroni-and-cheese/