Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sri Lankan Patties (Savory Filled Pastry)

This month the World on a Plate group decided to feature dumplings.  I think almost every culture has some form of a dumpling.  A dumpling is defined as a savory or sweet filling in dough that may be boiled, fried, or baked.   In Sri Lanka we have these beautiful savory fried Patties.  My mother and I had a cooking day a few weeks back and I asked her to make these for me so I could document this favorite Sri Lankan party food.   The filling can be made out of several savory options from ground beef, chicken, lamb, turkey, pork or fish.  You can also make them completely vegetarian.   I made the filling with ground chicken this time.  Of course for the health conscience you can bake these little beauties, but for the best results my mother suggest deep frying.  After all it is a party food so it okay to indulge a little.


The Filling:

1lb of ground meat  (see note)
2 carrots finely grated (optional)
4 boiled potatoes coarsely mashed
1 medium onion chopped
2 green chilies seeded and chopped
1-2 Tbs of grated fresh garlic
2 inches of fresh ginger grated
10-15 curry leaves (torn)
1 small stick of cinnamon
1 Tbs of finely minced fresh mint leaves
2-4 Tbs of soy sauce
1-2 tsp vinegar (to taste)
1-2 tsp of curry powder
1/2 tsp of turmeric
1/2 tsp of chili flakes or powder
salt and pepper to taste (I used a lot of pepper)
juice of half a lime (optional)

Note:  you can use the same flavorings for any ground meat (beef, pork, lamb, sausage).    If you decide to make vegetarian rolls, add more potato and carrots.  You can also use peas, cauliflower etc...   If you want to use canned tuna/mackerel check out my post for Cutlet filling.

Prior to making your filling boil your potatoes and coarsely mash them. Then saute your ground meat with the garlic, ginger curry leaves, cinnamon stick and carrots.  Once the meat is cooked, add powdered spices and saute for another minute. Then add your soy sauce, vinegar, mint leaves and salt and pepper to taste.  Add the lime juice as the final step and make sure you taste you mixture for seasoning.  Make sure the filling is well smashed (avoid large pieces) and combined so it will be easy to fill the pastries. Allow the filling to cool down before proceeding.

2 cups self rising flour well sifted (It is important to use self rising flour because it also seasoned with salt)  **more flour to mix dough as needed
1 egg
6-8 Tbs ice water
2 Tbs butter

Additional Ingredients for Assembling:
* beaten egg white to seal dough edges when assembling patties

On a cleaned surface place flour in a circle with a hole in the center.  Add egg and butter into hole and start bringing flour from the outside to mix into the egg and butter in the middle.  Add ice water as needed to form dough.   My mother calls the next step NOT kneading the dough, but folding air into the dough.  You want a light pastry so to get this texture it's important to create some air in the dough.  Fold the dough towards the center from all four sides and gently press down.  Repeat for 3-5 minutes.  Allow dough to rest in fridge for 10-20 minutes before proceeding.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap to keep from getting dry.
Next comes the rolling.  Divide the dough into half and lightly flour the rolling surface.  Roll dough into 1/8 of a inch thick.  Then take a biscuit cutter or even a thin lipped glass and cut desired size circles.

Cut out all the dough then fill the center with enough filling to fill the Pattie,  but still fold over and press down the edges.  You do not want to over fill the Pattie so it over stretches the dough and it rips.   Seal the edge with some well beaten egg whites.  Make all the Patties before proceeding to fry them.

Heat oil to 350 degrees and fry Patties until golden brown and dough is cooked. Drain on paper towels.

Serve:  Hot or at room temperature.  Enjoy.

World on a Plate is a blogging cultural exchange. On the last Sunday of the month, bloggers from all over the world get together to interpret a food through the lens of their home country cooking. Each blogger will produce a wonderful dish featuring the food chosen that is typical of her/his home country and will tell us a bit about the dish.

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