Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Aloo puffs

My mother-in-law and my nephew (my darling Saarthak!) arrived by the Avantika Express this morning. Apart from the usual cheer that comes from having more than one kid in the house, I was super-excited about feeding  my latest culinary experiment as well. Excited though I was, I was a little anxious too as to how the dish would eventually turn out.

I have been toiling at this recipe since yesterday, and anyone of you trying to make this recipe, you will also have to devote that much time. The delight, of having golden crusted crispy buttery puffs with a delectable potato filling! The aroma of baking  that fills the home with its homely nature! It is indescribable and must be experienced more than told.

This is not an easy recipe, in that it is kind of messy and sticky. Follow some of my tips and you will have less of a nightmare than I did when I made it for the first time.

For the puff pastry
250 g maida or plain flour
220 g butter
a pinch of salt
4 drops of vinegar
water for making dough

First of all cool all the ingredients except 40 g of butter. Melt 40 g of butter in a separate vessel. Now sieve the flour and make a well in the center, and pour the melted butter, four drops of vinegar and salt into this well. Mix it well so that the dough resembles bread crumbs. Now add water little by little till you make a soft dough. Knead the dough well with punches for about 10 to 15 minutes. This releases the gluten from the flour and helps to hold the dough together. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate.

Now for the remaining butter. Pound the butter with a pestle, add a little flour to it and knead it well using only the tips of your fingers. Once the butter has softened well shape it into a flat-ish rectangle of about 1 inch height. Refrigerate this block of butter for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Now bring the dough out from the refrigerator and remove the cling film. Roll it out into thick sheet of about an inch. Place the butter rectangle in the center of  this dough. Now hold the right hand side flap of the dough and cover it up over the butter. Repeat for the left hand side flap, top and bottom flaps. Now turn the whole assembly over, and roll it out once again. Although technically speaking butter shouldn't escape or be exposed through the dough, but this happens. Don't worry and continue rolling. As long as your butter is cool, things won't get messy. Once you have rolled the assembly into a 1 inch thick sheet, fold the right side flap and then the left side flap (kind of like you fold a letter before putting it in an envelope.)

Put the dough, the rolling platform, the rolling pin, in short, everything into the refrigerator. Wait for about 15 minutes. Place the dough flap side down and roll it again to form a rectangular one inch sheet. Once again fold the flaps and put it in the refrigerator.

Brace yourself. You are going to have to repeat this particular step for four to six times to get the multiple layers of the puff pastry.

After you have finished the sixth time, roll it slightly thinner this time, and cut it into equal squares or rectangles. Wrap each square in cling film and place in the cooling section of the fridge, not the freezer.

For the filling
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 large potatoes boiled and minced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp each of coriander, cumin, and garam masala.
1/4 tsp amchur powder
1 to 2 tsp red chilli powder
salt to taste.

Heat two teaspoons of oil in a pan. Add the onions and fry till they are tender. Now throw in the potatoes and the dry spices and salt. Go easy on the salt though. Do not add to much. Add a little less than you normally would.

Stir fry for some time and then keep aside to cool.

Now the assembly:
Take each cling film wrapped dough, and  open the cling film only halfway. With the dough covered on the top and bottom side with cling film, roll it out till it becomes thin. (This is much easier way than rolling the sheet on its own without the film, trust me on this one!) Now open the cling film and put a little bit of the aloo filling into the center. Now hold one side of the cling film and match the edges of the puff pastry. Seal the edges shut.

Heat your OTG on Bake mode for about 15 minutes before you put the puff pastry in. Now remove the cling film and place the puffs on a baking sheet, and push it into the oven. You will need to bake it for about 15 minutes, flipping it over once in between.

Your puffs are done when they are golden brown on each side. Remove from the oven and serve crispy and hot with tea or coffee!

Tip: For a more flaky version of the puffs, I have been told that using margarine or dalda is better. This tip has been extended by my good friend Sahana Joshi.


  1. thank you! thank you!! :) n the puffs look amazing!!go power puff girl, go!!! :D someday, im definitely trying this one too!!!

  2. Brilliant stuff. :)
    Photos looking good.
    there is this woman called Ree who cooks like this. I think you'd like this :


  3. You reminded me of college days, where we used to make this yummy stuff. I loved baking. I have only recently started baking again.This is defintely on the menu this weekend.Thanks for reminding me :)

  4. ok tried ur pastry ka recipe, but i used chicken and cheese stuffing instead with thai sweet sauce, and it was awesome :) of course i did it like we used to make it in college, so i started in the afternoon, and had my puffs ready at night,i didnt have the patience like u to make the pastry overnight.So thanks for the recipe and ur tips, i only used cling film, even to roll out, so didnt have to use flour for dusting as well.To cut down on the guilt factor, i cut down on some butter and i used chapati atta.And yes, the aroma of baking is something one needs to experience, and I think its the most fabulous smell.. :)

  5. Jayu lovely!! give me the chicken and cheese filling recipe. I may not be able to try it out now but I will make it as soon as I can. It sounds yum!

  6. oh its nothing, saute some garlic in oil, add finely shredded chicken to it. Add chili flakes, cover and cook till the chicken is tender. Take it off the heat, cool it, add some grated cheese, some herbs, and some thai sweet chili sauce, and use it as the filling instead of the aloo. :)