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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Aloo Pies

Today I'm linking up, for the first time, with Janelle over at Comfy in the Kitchen sharing a recipe that is very popular in my country. I first shared it on Time Warp Wife's Titus 2sdays last year.  Before I give you this recipe.. a little word about my country, Trinidad. We are very cosmopolitan and our cuisine is heavily influenced by African, Indian, Chinese, Lebanese and even Portuguese culture.

This is a very popular snack and is of East Indian origin. It's called an "aloo" pie. "Aloo" being the Indian word for potato. (I can't take the credit for the picture... I 'borrowed' it from someone else)



4 cups flour                                            2 lbs potatoes
1 pkg instant yeast                                2 tsp roasted ground cumin
2 tsp salt                                                 2-3 garlic cloves
1 ½ cups water                                      black pepper or  hot pepper to taste
2 cups oil for frying                               (We usually use habanero or scotch bonnet)     
                                                              see picture below

Mix 2 cups flour, 1 tsp salt and yeast in large bowl, add warm water and mix, adding more flour gradually and kneading until dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in bulk (about ¾ hour) Baking powder can also be used in place of yeast, substitute one teaspoon for each cup of flour and let rest for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, peel, cube and boil potatoes in water to which 1 tsp salt and the garlic cloves have been added. Boil until tender, drain, then crush and season with, hot pepper or black pepper and ground cumin. You can use hot sauce or paprika... whatever you have at hand in your pantry. Of course, omit the pepper completely if you don't like spicy food, but add onion, garlic and herbs to give flavour.

After dough has risen, punch down and divide into balls about 2” in diameter (you can make them bigger or smaller if you wish). Let rest for a few minutes and then flatten each ball into a circle (not too thin) and place about 1 to 2 Tbs of potato mixture (depending on size of your ball) on half of circle. Fold over and seal well to form a crescent. Make sure you seal them properly or they will open up while frying.

Fry in hot oil for a few seconds, until golden brown, then turn over and cook the other side. Note that oil must not be too hot or pies will burn without cooking inside. The best method is to heat oil on high until it reaches desired temperature (when a piece of dough or bread dropped in comes back to surface and is surrounded by “fry bubbles”) and then reduce heat to medium to continue cooking pies.

1)1 Tbs curry powder can be added to water that potatoes are boiled in.

2) Pies can also be baked if preferred, but add 2 tsps of oil to mixture after water is put in as they may be dry.

3) Pizza dough can be used in place of dough recipe above.

4) I sometimes put finely minced pimento peppers (a popular pepper used for seasoning, usually mild but sometimes hot), chadon beni (which is close to cilantro) and even minced onion into my potatoes to give them extra flavour. Here's a picture of what the pimento looks like.
These pies are sometimes served with a savoury sauce or chutney made from mangoes or tamarinds but they are delicious on their own. Curried chick peas are also sometimes put into the cooked pie.

Hope you have fun with this recipe. In my kitchen, we taste everything to make sure its got the right amount of seasoning. We LOVE spicy food! So, be sure to taste your potatoes and make sure you like them the way they are, everyone's tastebuds are different. Its better to add a little at a time just to be safe.

Happy Cooking!


Kathryn said...

Wow! This looks so good. I've never tried (or made) anything like it, but my husband loves spicy food, so I may need to give it a try. Thanks for posting.

Cintia Listenbee said...

It looks delicious!