Desi Flamenco 

Samosa Chaat Empanadas

More often than not, if you’re going to an Indian Dinner party, chances are you’ll be greeted by a friendly face called “samosa”! It could be baked or fried, mini or Punjabi jumbo style, homemade or takeout, veggie or meat, the list is endless. But the samosas are always around. They’re versatile, easily available, easy to serve and as global as the French fries! Everybody knows samosas and everybody loves samosas, including me! 

What I don’t love, is being predictable. If I must serve samosas as my appetizers, the least I could do is change the packaging. So while my samosas are excited to get a makeover, good old Empanadas could surely use some newer vegetarian stuffing options! The fact that these are baked, is just a cherry on top. Technically it’s pastry dough on top, but you know what I mean. Besides they look so gorgeous, you’re definitely about to up your appetizer game. 

Ingredients (for potato mixture)

  • 4-5 small potatoes, boiled (I nuked mine in the microwave for 6 minutes in a microwave safe bag)
  • 1-2 tbsp oil for tempering 
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds 
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds 
  • 5-6 curry leaves (optional)
  • A pinch of asafoetida (optional)
  • A pinch turmeric powder 
  • 1 tsp paprika 
  • 1 tsp curry powder 
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • Salt 
  • Splash of lime 

    Preparation (for potato mixture)

      1. In a large bowl, add the salt, turmeric, curry, paprika powders and ginger-garlic paste to the boiled and peeled potatoes and roughly mash them down using a fork. 
      2. Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida and fry. 
      3. Take it off the heat and pour it over the mashed potatoes. Add the lime juice. Mix well and set aside. 

      Ingredients (for instant Chhole)

      • 1 tbsp oil 
      • 1 tsp cumin seeds 
      • 1 tbsp tomato paste 
      • 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds powdered 
      • 1 + 1/2 tsp turmeric 
      • 1/2 tsp cumin 
      • 1 tsp paprika  
      • 1 tbsp Chhole masala  
      • salt  
      • splash of lime  
      • 1 can garbanzo beans (drained) 

         Preparation (for instant Chhole)

        • Add all of the ingredients above in a large saucepan in the order as specified. 
        • Add upto 1/4 cup of water after adding the garbanzo beans so that the mixture can coat evenly.
        • Cook for about 5 mins until the mixture is dry. Then set aside to cool.

        Ingredients (for the dough)

          • 2 cups all purpose flour 
          • 1 tsp baking powder 
          • 1 tsp salt
          • 1 tsp curry powder 
          • 1/2 tsp ajwain seeds 
          • 1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into cubes 
          • 1/2 cup ice water (approximately) 
          • 1 egg, beaten for egg wash (optional)

          Preparation (for the dough)

          1. Add the first 5 ingredients into a large bowl.
          2. Rub in the butter using the fingertips.
          3. Gradually add the iced cold water till the dough comes together. (Depending on the flour you use, the altitude you’re at and a lot of other factors, the water amount could fluctuate, so add very little at a time) 

          Assembling the Empanadas (See the pictures)

            1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
            2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
            3. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions.
            4. Roll out each of these in a circular disc of approximately 3 – 3+1/2 inches.
            5. Add a dinner spoonful of potato mixture on the bottom half of the rolled out dough circle. Make sure to stay about half an inch away from the edges. Flatten the mixture.
            6. Add a dinner spoonful of chhole on top of that and flatten.  
            7. Fold the top of the circle over onto the bottom, aligning the edges as you do so, forming a semi circle.
            8. Crimp the edges, pressing down with a fork.
            9. Spread them out on the lined baking sheet as you repeat the process with the remaining pieces.
            10. Brush the tops lightly with the beaten egg. This gives a nice glossy finish once baked but it’s optional in case you don’t eat eggs. 
            11. Bake in the oven for 35-40 mins, rotating the sheets halfway through for even baking. 
            12. Serve with green chutney. 

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