Empanada Pastry Pockets are popular and classic street food native to Spain and travelled moving down to Latin America, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Africa, South Asia and the British Isles. This yummy and appetizing Empanada is a crescent shaped pastry with a delicious filling welcoming our palates to eat more. The Empanada Pastry pockets are made with a spicy delicious meat filling giving an Indian touch of flavours and taste.
Empanadas can be fried or baked and made with a variety of fillings of your choice using cheese, vegetables, meat, seafood or a combination of both etc or you can fill an empanada with virtually anything experimenting with new innovative flavours and taste to make it more enticing and delectable.
History of Empanada
Empanada are small little pastry pockets filled with a variety of fillings made with cheese, meat, vegetables, seafood, or fruits and are crazily popular throughout Latin and South America. Though thought to have originated from Spain, where the Empanada festival is part of Galician culture, the name comes from Empanar, or ‘to coat with bread’.
Most cultures have some sort of traditional pocket or pie food that are popularly prepared such as the highly spiced savoury Indian Samosa or Kajjikaaya, a sweet pie from India. Each culture twists on new ideas creating humble Cornish pastry, the flaky French Chausson, the peppery Jamaican patty and the phyllo-wrapped Middle Eastern borek. Most cuisines have created some sort of traditional pocket or meat pie snacks which are quite simple, delicious, mouth melting, portable, easy to make and they don’t have to be meaty. Empanadas and calzones are both believed to be derived from the Indian meat-filled pies, Samosas. All these pastries have common origins in India and the Middle East.
Pastry Pocket variations
Empanadas are the traditional Latin version of the Hot pocket (an American version) where they use a combination of meat, raisins and olives or Sausage, cheese and potato for a savoury snack while sweet ones are filled with guava and cream cheese, apple, pumpkin among other flavours. These are perfect for parties, celebrations, and a great accent to any menu! Empanadas can be served as snacks/appetizers and tastes excellent with a dipping sauce.
There are many mouth-watering varieties of empanadas in India which are mostly with sweet fillings. In North India (Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan), a delicious sweet popularly known as Gujjiyas are made typically at festival time especially during Holi; made with a filling of medley of dry fruits, khoya etc while in South India they are called Kajjikaya. In Maharashtra they are made during the Ganapati festival and also for Diwali which is known as Karanjis; in Gujarat they are called Ghugra and in Goa, the Catholics make them for Christmas with a coconut, jaggery and dry fruit filling popularly known as Neories/ Nevries.
Making empanada dough is not as hard as it sounds, especially if you have a food processor, and even if you don’t it is still pretty easy because the dough should not be overworked and requires minimal kneading. To get an attractive shaped empanada is the technique to master holding the open empanada with one hand and using the other hand to crimp the outer edge and form a decorative braid.
How to make Empanada Pastry Pockets:
All-purpose flour - 1 cup
Baking soda - ¼ tsp
Bell pepper, chopped - ¼ cup
Butter - 1 tbsp
Chilli powder - 1 tbsp
Carrots, chopped - ½ cup
Coriander, chopped - 1 bunch
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Egg - 2 nos
Garam masala - 1 tbsp
Green chilli, chopped - 2 nos
Garlic, chopped - 1 tsp
Green peas - ½ cup
Lamb meat - 500 gms
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Onion, chopped - 1 no
Potato - 1 no
Raisins - 8 nos
Salt - to taste
Vinegar - ½ cup
Heat olive pan in pan, add onions and sauté until they are translucent. Add garlic, green chilli, cumin powder, small pieces of potatoes, carrots, green peas, mince meat and chilli powder. Mix all ingredients and cover the pan with a lid and allow cooking on medium flame for few minutes.
Add salt, bell pepper, raisins and cook for some time. Add chopped coriander, garam masala, mix and keep aside. Let it cool.
For the dough: Take a small bowl, add egg, vinegar, salt and water. Mix well. Take another bowl; add all-purpose flour, baking powder, butter and pour the mixture (eggs/vinegar) and mix to make dough.
Make a big sheet and cut them into a round disc and apply the egg wash.
Stuff the meat mixture inside and press the edges and deep fry the pockets/ pot stickers.
Serve hot with chutney.