Last few days were very hectic with the school reopening after the break. Immediately after the school reopened, the kid celebrated his twelfth birthday. So, the days were spent planning and shopping for his special day and I must tell you he had a great day, the details of which I’ll post later. But in all this hustle bustle, I was not able to make something interesting for Kalyani’s MM#6 using Coriander and APF. I had thought something very interesting and innovative in my mind but I was just not getting the time to incorporate it in my cooking, since what I wanted to make, needed some time in hand…
Finally today, I decided to make it. After S and the younger kid left for office and school respectively, I let the elder one sleep longer and finished all the cleaning and other chores before he got up. I must confess, I can be a fanatic at times when it comes to cleanliness. Then I did all the chopping, grating and kneading required for the preparation. By that time the elder one was up, so gave him milk and breakfast and then headed towards finishing the product.
This preparation is inspired by my braided breads, which one can read in detail here and here. I love the beauty of the braids and I wanted to use the theme in a savory preparation especially as a starter. This preparation requires a bit of patience as well as diligence but the end product is worth all the effort, it looks really beautiful and is very tasty. I have added no overpowering spices to the filling, it has all the flavors coming from the herbs and the fresh ingredients used.
This Puff can make a very attractive starter as well as an after school snack. I must confess, after a long time I deep fried and enjoyed eating it too..yes, all the health consciousness was thrown out of the window today..I asked the elder one to sample the preparation after I fried the first puff and I got an instant . I was mighty delighted with his reaction! As a cook, my motivation comes from the feedback I get and when the effort gets appreciated, one thrives for more..Finally, when I served the puff to the younger one after he came back from school, after tasting he told me Mom, this is Chef’s stuff! Whatever you have put inside the puff, has amazing taste. It’s KOOOL Mom!!! Wow, the kids made my day truly.
Braided Savory Corn & Coriander Puff
Standing Time for THE Dough:60mins
Ingredients For The Dough1cup APF
1tbsp oil for shortening
1-1/2tsp chili flakes
salt to taste
water for kneading
Ingredients For The Filling2tsp oil
1/4cup sweet corn, crushed
one quarter of red capsicum, chopped finely
a piece of ginger
a handful of coriander
salt to taste
2medium potatoes, boiled and mashed or 1cup potato flakes mixed in 3/4cup water
Ingredients For Corn Starch Slurry3tbsp Corn Starch
a pinch of salt
3cups Oil for Deep frying
Method For Making The DoughAssemble all the ingredients for making the dough.
In a deep bowl, mix oregano, salt, oil and chili flakes.
Add flour and mix to get a crumbly texture.
Add water gradually and knead a stiff dough. Let it rest covered for an hour.
Divide the dough into 8-9 portions and make balls of size slightly larger than what’s required for making a poori, flatten them. Keep covered to avoid drying.
Method For The FillingCrush together the garlic, green chilies, ginger and a little coriander in a hand mixer.
Heat oil in a pan.
Add the ginger-coriander crush and saute lightly for a minute.
Add the grated carrot, crushed corn and mix. Saute for a minute again.
Tip in the oregano and salt.
Add the capsicum and mix.
Add the potatoes, I used the potato flakes as I find them handy to use. Mix thoroughly. Do not overcook, let the veggies have a bite, as they will be deep fried later.
Cool the mix and finally chop all the remaining coriander and mix it in the filling.
Divide into 8equal portions and shape them as elongated cylinders.
Method For Corn Starch SlurryMix all ingredients under the heading of slurry to make a semi thick slurry.
Method For Making The PuffTake the dough ball and roll it into an oval shape of length 3-1/2-4inches.
Score it lightly using a sharp knife 1cm,on either side of the center.
Place the filling.
Give slant cuts on either side of the filling at equal distance till the end.
Spread the corn starch slurry on the filling. This will help to stick the braid.
Lift the first cut on the RHS of the filling and place it’s end at the origin of the second cut on LHS. Stick properly. Now lift the first cut on LHS and stick it at the origin of second cut on the RHS. Repeat this process continuously till the braiding is complete. Press the ends lightly to avoid any gaps.
Deep fry the braided puff on a low flame till golden and crispy. Remove on a kitchen towel to remove excess oil.
Serve hot with tomato sauce.
Tips & PrecautionsThe shortening added to the dough should not be less or excessive, it should be just enough to get a crumbly texture. Less shortening will cause soft puffs and more shortening will cause excessive absorption of oil.
One can try different fillings in the puff but the filling should not have excessive moisture.
Always keep the dough covered with a damp cloth, else it will start drying up.
Do not roll the dough too thin as it will tend to break while braiding.
The slurry should not be made thin as it will cause addition of water to the dough, making it further soft.
While adding salt to the filling, keep the salt level slightly less as the outer cover also has the salt, else the puff will become too salty.
This post goes to Magic Mingle#6