Going all the way to Mexico for lunch
Empanadas are stuffed pastry or bread which are fried or baked. Originally from Portugal, this dish is being made in various countries, using fillings that are suitable for the local palate. Emapanadas are very similar to the Italian calzone, the pies from many countries, curry puffs, patties, gujiyas or googras from India. The list is endless. The type of pastry made for this dish varies from country to country. Some add egg, some add more fat and some add yeast. Since I did not want to make an egg pastry I decided to browse the internet for a correct yeast pastry for the empanadas. I decided to use a Mexican filling. Fillings can be anything right from meat, chicken, fish, vegetables to sweet fillings to serve empanadas as a dessert. I have been following the India Masterchef season 3 and when one of the participants, Yasmin Sheikh made emapanadas, I thought 'I must try this recipe out'. Finally did so two days ago and Ajay was pretty impressed. A good dish for a light lunch or dinner or as a snack. We had the leftovers for dinner last night and they still tasted good. Though the bread became a bit soft, I just put it under the broiler or grill for a few minutes and it was good. I am sure you can heat it up in the microwave oven (I don't have one). I am sure kids will love empanadas. Add cheese to make it more appealing to them.
For the pastry:
2 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 cup wholewheat flour
3 tsp dry active instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp oil
¾ to 1 cup warm water
For the filling:
1 cup diced potatoes (cut it into the size of the beans)
1 cup cooked red beans (rajma)
1 cup cooked sweet corn
½ cup diced onion
4 to 6 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp red chilli powder or paprika powder
1 tsp oregano
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander or cilantro
4 tbsp thick tomato puree
1 to 2 tbsp water
extra oil for greasing
extra flour for rolling
2 to 3 tbsp milk for brushing
To serve with :
guacamole or salsa or a sauce of your choice
Preparation of the pastry:
- Sieve both the flours together. Add the sugar and salt and mix. Rub in the oil.
- Add yeast and mix the flour. Add warm water and make a dough. The dough should not be too hard or too soft.
- Grease your hand with a bit of oil and knead the dough till it is smooth. This will take about 4 to 5 minutes only.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover it with a cling film and let the dough ferment for an hour or so.
Preparation of the filling:
- Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat. When it becomes add the onion.
- Stir fry the onion till it becomes soft. Add the garlic. Stir fry for a few seconds.
- Add the diced potato and 2 tbsps of water.
- Cover the pan and reduce the heat. Let the potatoes cook till done.
- Add the corn, beans, tomato puree, salt, oregano, red chilli, coriander and cinnamon powder. Mix well.
- Let the mixture cool down a bit. Add the chopped coriander and mix well.
Preparation of the empanadas:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease 2 baking trays.
- Gently knead the risen dough for a few seconds.
- Divide the dough into 12 parts. Roll each part into a ball.
- Take one ball and with the help of the extra flour roll it out into a 5 inch circle.
- Place about 2 tablespoonful of the filling on one half of the circle.
- Cover the filling with the other half of the circle. (half moon shape)
- Seal the edges properly either with a fork, or making the twisted pattern. (like gujiyas)
- Place the empanada on the greased tray.
- Repeat steps 4 to 8 using the rest of the dough and filling. Leave about an inch of space between the empanadas.
- Brush the tops of the empanadas with milk.
- Place the trays in the hot oven and bake the empanadas for 20 to 25 minutes till the tops are brown.
- Serve immediately with your favourite salad , guacamole or salsa.
- You can fold the empanadas into a square shape if you like.
- Use any filling of your choice.
- Use taco seasoning if you like. Reduce the amount of spices mentioned above, if you are using a seasoning.
- Add cheese if you like.
- If you are using dry active yeast but not instant, you need to ferment the yeast before adding it to the flour. Add sugar to half the water and sprinkle the yeast over it. Cover and let it ferment for 10 minutes.
- The amount of water required for the dough will depend on the wheat flour. Some tend to absorb more water than others.
- Add oregano or cumin powder to the dough for that extra flavour.
Sending this recipe for the following events:
You may want to check out the following:
|spinach mushroom pies|