I don’t really know what these are, and so coming up with a name for these in today’s post was a real headache. But that’s okay, because I’ve been more than compensated by how fun and delicious the recipe is!
These curried potato pockets are the result of a marriage between the Indian aloo paratha and the Chinese pan-fried bun, and let me assure you that it is a very happy marriage indeed. Think fluffy surrounded by chewy. Think creamy and rich. Think spiced and piping hot. Do not think burning your tongue on molten potato magma because you didn’t wait to take the first bite, or the second or third.
The story of these delicious pockets began one hungry and sleepy morning when I had an acute craving for falafels. Not having a recipe, I randomly added things to the food processor and ended up with something resembling a heavily-spiced hummus. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, a sweet potato and some nut butter were thrown into the mix. And guess what? It was so delicious that I ended up eating half of it straight from the food processor!
Evelyn could only shake her head and laugh.
But the story doesn’t end there. Having decided I was on a roll, I proceeded to make pitas to go with the happy accident. Then I thought- why not stuffed pitas? And again, one thing led to another, and a while later I found myself nomming on pan-fried mini pitas stuffed with a sweet potato-enhanced failed attempt at falafel.
Boy were they good! So good that the only photographic evidence of their existence was a blurry phone picture.
They disappeared down my belly in minutes. They mysteriously disappeared soon after the picture was taken.
The next day I recreated the recipe, and tweaked it slightly by swapping the sweet potato for a baked potato, and adding curry spices. The pictures you see in this post are all from the second attempt. And I have to thank Evelyn for operating the camera while I had fun with the dough!
It might look fiddly, but the method is pretty simple- roll out the dough, scoop some filling in the centre, bring the edges of the dough to the centre, and pinch to seal. The trick is not to roll the dough too thin, and then seal them well. It would also help to hold everything in one hand and do the pinching with the other.
This isn’t a recipe that you would want to do when you need food like, right now. It takes time for the dough to relax and rise a little so the pockets would get fluffy. You would also have quite a mess to clean up after playing with all that dough. Play-dough, get it?
On the plus side, these would freeze beautifully and you can make a large batch, bake or fry them, and stick them in the freezer. Just give them a little prick (so they don’t balloon up) and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes.
This recipe is one of those where you really need a little oil to get things going- without the oil you won’t be able to get a crispy brown crust on the outside. I opted for the pan-frying method because it involves less preheating and waiting. Plus, you could stand and watch them cook while you lick you lips in anticipation.
Or maybe that’s just me.
Curried Potato Pockets Recipe
For the dough:
1 cup plain flour
1/4 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon flaxseeds
1/3 cup water
For the filling:
1 medium potato, baked or microwaved
1/2 can chickpeas (about 1 cup cooked)
2 tablespoons nut butter
1/3 cup spring onions, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic
1/2 lemon, juice of
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon curry mix, to taste (or any combination of preferred spices)
1/3 teaspoon coarse sea salt, to taste
- Combine all the ingredients for the dough in a large bowl. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth.
- Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rest and rise slightly for 1 1/2 hours.
- Add all the ingredients for the filling to a food processor. Process until creamy. Transfer to a bowl.
- Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 8 pieces. Roll the pieces into little balls and roll into discs slightly larger than your palm.
- To make the pockets, scoop about 2 tablespoons’ worth of filling onto the dough, and pinch the edges together above the filling to seal. Gently flatten with the base of your palm. Allow to rest for 15 to 30 minutes.
- To PAN FRY: Place a skillet on medium-low heat. Drizzle in a little oil and fry the pockets on one side for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown. Flip over and repeat.
- To BAKE: Preheat oven to 220°C. Arrange the pockets on a well-greased baking tray and brush the tops with oil. Bake for 10 minutes, until golden brown.
- Allow to cool down slightly and enjoy!