One of the reasons I do not see myself making Germany or any of its neighbouring countries as a place to settle down for good is the WINTER. Snow is fine, I can get along with it, the low temperatures, yeah, can live with that too. So what's it that gets me down...................................
it's the definite lack of colour.
And when you add never ending rain, grey skies and bare trees to the picture, it's a sure path to looking grumpy and feeling low. So rather than sit around and brood myself out, I have been spending time in the kitchen a wee bit more than intended. After the cooking, I must be also providing sheer entertainment to my german neighbours with my crazy antics during the photo shoot. Well, a girl's gotta keep herself busy even if it means looking crazy.
Coming back to these vegetable puffs, who would have ever thought that these could be made at home. My memories of the crispy crust with a soft filling of spiced onions, potatoes and peas goes back to the days when mum would thrust a few rupees in my hand and ask me to bring these home on our way back from school/college. On such days, we were a happy lot and couldn't wait to get back home and dig ourselves in.
When a fellow expat and I were talking about the food we missed so badly, she surprised me by saying that there was puff pastry available and it was good too. The funny part about shopping in Germany is that you've got to know the german terms of your grocery list, else you can simply assume that ingredients are simply unavailable. Thanks to her, I've been preparing these vegetable puffs quite often, more so, whenever I am reminded of home.
- 2 sheets puff pastry(see notes)
For the filling( for 10-12 rectangular puffs):
- Wash and boil potatoes with skin in sufficient water. Cool them, peel, mash well and keep aside.
- Slice the onion fine.
- In a handi/vessel heat the oil.
- When hot, add the mustard seeds.
- When they begin to splutter, add the onions and fry well.
- As the onions turn golden brown, add the chilli/bafath and turmeric powders.
- Mix well and continue to fry for a minute.
- Add the boiled and mashed potatoes along with the green peas.
- Mix well and continue to cook till the peas are cooked(5 to 7 minutes). Keep stirring and avoid the mixture from burning.
- Switch off and let the mix cool down.
- Preheat the oven to 220C.
- Line a baking try with parchment paper.
- Spread out the pastry sheet on a clean platform.
- Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut into equal shaped rectangles(see pic above).
- Place the potato filling in the centre of each rectangle. Do not overcrowd the base.
- Close or seal the potato filling with the folded flap and seal the edges well(See pic above).
- Place the puffs neatly in a line on the baking try. Do not keep too close to each other.
- Place the tray on the middle rack and bake for 10 minutes or till they are golden brown in colour.
- Remove from oven, let cool(Do not burn your mouth as I did) and have them with a hot cuppa tea.
- Puff Pastry is called BLÄTTERTEIG, available in Edeka, Kupsch, Lidl and Tegut. There are two kinds available, one in the frozen section and the other in the coolers(along with the butter, curd etc). The frozen pastry can be kept upto many months, where as the one in the coolers need to be used within a short period of time. Personally, I prefer the latter.
- Puff pastry comes in sheets or in different shapes too. It is left to your personal choice as to what you would like to get and how you would like to shape it.
- You can experiment with the filling. This is a simple recipe which my family likes. You can add minced meat, eggs, vegetables, different kinds of herbs and spices too. Experimentation is the key.