Monday, May 25, 2015

Pastel (Pastel de Carne Rápido/ Deep Fried Empanadas)

Chefs Across Boundaries is an initiative started by a group of us foodies and bloggers. Every month is a new challenge of a different cuisine. It has been so far a wonderful experience because learning about different cuisines and their food habits is something very interesting. 

Even though we don't travel to that place, this is something of a gastronomical experience that my friends and myself have been having for the past few months.

This month challenge was hosted by the giggling and lovely couple Souvik & Priyanka  The cuisine was Brazilian!!! Oh!! I wanted to do some samba, salsa and sing tarrramppaa!!!! 

Brazil as I've known is the land of Foot Ball. Now I think its even the land of Food Ball!! The cuisine has influences from American and European Countries. Their staple includes Cassava Flour (Arrow Root Flour), yams, passion fruit, papaya etc in their food.

Choosing the recipe for the challenge was the toughest challenge more than the challenge itself. I wanted to bake a very wonderful pao (with tapioca flour), but it was not available and my oven conked off!! There is an another wonderful truffle called Brigadeiro (Chocolate Truffle) which I wanted to make but my family is not a fan of chocolates as I'm. Finally thought would make a very nice deep fried rain cookies, lest they were too sweet for me. 

So finally found this wonderful snack - PASTEL.

Pastel is a very famous and most loved road side snack of Brazil. It is a thin pastry which has a spicy filling with softy, gooey, cheesy inside. A local liquor called Cachaca is mixed along with the dough with gives those small bubbles on the fried pastel. I replaced it with Vodka. Also addind liquor helps in less oil absorption. If you don't have them, you can add a little vinegar. 

Pastel is very versatile to make because, the options for fillings are endless!! You could use Chicken, Beef, Shrimp, any vegetable filling along with cheese.

What you need:

For the pastry dough:
  1. Maida - 1 1/2 cups
  2. Vodka - 1 1/2 tbsp
  3. Refined Oil - 1 1/2 tbsp
  4. Salt - 1 tsp
  5. Water
  1. Onion - 2 (Finely Chopped)
  2. Tomato 2 (Finely Chopped)
  3. Capsicum - 1 (Finely Chopped)
  4. Mozzarella Cheese - 10 - 12 cubes
  5. Red Chili Powder - According to your taste
  6. Salt - to taste
  7. Tomato Ketchup - 2 tbsp
  8. Tobasco Sauce - 3 tsp (increase or decrease according to your taste)
  9. Mixed Herbs - 2 tsp
  10. Oil - 1 tbsp
How to go about it:
  1.  Add the maida to a bowl and top in all the other ingredients and mix. Add water little by little to make a soft pliable dough. Cover and keep aside.
  2. In a pan, add oil. Once hot add onions and little salt (helps the onion to cook faster). Keep on high flame and saute the onions until they turn brown.
  3. Add the tomatoes and saute them. The tomatoes need to turn mushy. 
  4. Add the chili powder, salt and capsicum. Saute until the water from the tomatoes are absorbed.
  5. Finally, add the tomato ketchup and tobasco sauce. The mixture should not be watery nor too dry. It should be semi solid like a pizza sauce (more or less)
  1. Take a little dough and roll out to a slightly thick chapathi. 
  2. Cut square shape from this.
  3. Add the filling. Make sure you don't add too much of filling, this will make the filling ooze out while frying.
  4. Keep a small block of cheese in the middle of the filling.
  5. Now wet the sides of the dough with a little water and seal all the sides of the dough.
  6. Make little serration on the sides with a fork and deep fry until golden brown.
  7. Serve hot with salsa or any dip of your choice.
Njoy with your luved ones...