5 October 2015

Potato & Cheese stuffed tartlets

     Starters are just that, a great start to any meal, or just on their own, the perfect accompaniment to catching up on some gossip, or in more technical terms...preparing and balancing one's appetite for the bigger meal ahead!!
For this tartlet, I chose an English-style stuffing, simple potatoes and peas with minimal spices. The stuffing tasted simply wonderful and proved that, sometimes, less is more!! 

Ingredients :

For the tartlets :
All purpose flour -1 cup
Bajra (Pearl Millet flour) - 1/2 cup
Soya flour - 1/4 cup
Salt to taste
Black pepper powder - to taste

Stuffing (for the spicy version):
Oil - 1 & 1/2 tbsps
Boiled and mashed potatoes (with salt)- 1 cup
Boiled peas - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
Mixed herbs - 1/2 tsp
Black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Crushed chili flakes - 1/4 cup
Grated processed cheese - 1/4 cup or 1 cheese slice

Stuffing (for the sweet version) :
Butter - 1/2 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Boiled and mashed Sweet potatoes - 1 cup
Chopped apples - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Black pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Chili powder - 1/2 tsp

Grated cheese - for sprinkling
Oil for frying

Method :

1. Let's prepare the stuffing first. [The sweet version is totally optional, I just made it for a variation and since apples are so in season and with the right crunch :) ] Heat 1.5 tbsps oil in a pan, and add the mashed potatoes and peas. Stir the mixture till the oil is well mixed in.

2. Add salt to taste, garlic powder, pepper powder, chili flakes or chili powder and stir well into the mashed veggies. Let cook for about 2 minutes on low flame. Now add the grated cheese/cheese slice and the herbs. Stir again and check for salt. Let cook for 1 minute more and turn off the flame. 
 3. For the sweet version, heat butter and oil in a pan. Add the chopped apples and let cook on low flame for 2-3 minutes. Add in the cooked sweet potatoes and mix well. Add salt to taste, very little as we only want to enhance the sweetness in contrast! Add pepper and chili powder as well and stir in till well-mixed. Let cook for 2-3 minutes more and remove. Let cool.
4. Now for the 'tartlets'..... Sieve together the flours and add the salt and pepper powder. Knead into a soft but firm dough using sufficient water. Divide into small and equal portions. 

5. Heat oil for frying. Roll out a dough portion into a puri or a round 2 inches in diameter. Wrap over an aluminium cupcake mould and press gently. Prick all over with fork and drop carefully into the oil. 
Press down to hold the mould in place for few seconds and to let the fried puri retain its shape before the mould frees itself. Then remove the cupcake mould out of the oil and let the puri fry on low heat for few seconds more. 
Do not fry till golden brown and crisp as we will be further baking these along with the stuffing.

6. Repeat with the rest of the dough and drain excess oil. Now fill the puris with the prepared stuffing and sprinkle grated cheese on top. Preheat oven at 170 deg C. 
[Note : I use a microwave oven, so to pre-heat I tend to place some water in a micro-proof bowl and run it on high for a minute or so. ]

7. Arrange the stuffed puris or tartlets in a baking dish and bake for about 10-15 minutes till cheese turns golden brown. In the micro, I baked them for about 7-8 minutes.
Serve hot with desired accompaniment.