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Iyengar Bakery Style Vegetable Puff

Ingredients

As a kid, I was a huge fan of vegetable puff sold at Iyengar Bakery near Ashok Pillar and at KVR Bakery near Ashok Nagar mosque. Growing up we never had ovens at home and my mom never baked anything. I was the chubby, food loving kid who enjoyed baked goodies like cakes, cookies, tarts and puffs. When I went to England for my master’s program, I was so fascinated to use the oven. I slowly started to bake. I am not a real baker but I do roast vegetables, make creme brulee, cakes and cookies. My kids love egg and vegetable puffs and I make my own puff pastry following Ria’s Collection recipe. I include vegetable puff in my “Chai Party” popups menu. I change the stuffing based on what I find at the farmer’s market. It could be a simple onions base with carrots or beets or butter squash. I flavor it with fennel seeds, garam masala and cilantro.

The diners who come to my meal ask for simple recipe to re-create it in their kitchen. They relate cooking Indian food to be a cumbersome task so today I am sharing the recipe for a quick and easy vegetable puff. You can use store bought puff pastry for a quick result.

Iyengar Bakery Puffs

IYENGAR BAKERY VEGETABLE PUFF

Serves 12

Ingredients

  • Homemade or store bought puff pastry –
  • 2 tablespoon oil plus butter or ghee for garnish
  • 10 curry leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 medium size onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced/chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 10-12 french beans, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of half a small lemon

Cooking Directions:

  1. If frozen, thaw the puff pastry at room temperature. Cut them into 10×10 or 10×12 cm squares or rectangles .
  2. Heat oil. Once hot, add curry leaves and fennel seeds. Saute for couple of seconds.
  3. Add ginger and garlic and saute for a minute.
  4. Mix in the onions and little salt and brown the onions. It takes 5-6 minutes on medium heat. Keep sauteing to prevent burning.
  5. Finally add the carrots, peas and beans. Stir well to combine
  6. Drizzle 1/4 cup water and cook covered for 15 minutes on low flame.
  7. Sprinkle garam masala and cilantro. Cook for a minute. The vegetable mixture should be a dry base.
  8. Check for seasoning and add salt if needed
  9. Squeeze 1/2 lemon juice for added flavor

Assemble:

  1.  Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. Place one square/rectangle of puff pastry on a chopping board or a plate. Gently spoon 1/2 tablespoon vegetable mixture in the centre and cover it with another puff pastry sheet. Dip your finger in water and seal the squares.
  3. Using a fork, create a pattern on the sides. Set aside.
  4. Make the rest of them.
  5. Spray some oil or a small dollop of butter / ghee on top of the puffs. Make a small X slit on top.
  6. Bake in the oven at 400F for 25-30 minutes. It depends on the heat of your oven. Keep it longer if needed. Check at 20 minutes and continue baking it until done.

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