Yesterday, April 8th was National Empanada day. Pronounced as ehm/pah/nah/thahs, these sweet or savury snack consists of a flaky outer covering with a sweet or savoury filling. It is either baked or fried and are very famous in Spain, Latin American countries and the Caribbean. The word comes from the Spanish Verb Empanar which means to wrap or coat in bread. The outer dough may be an yeasted dough or a pastry dough. I came across both recipes but I decided to make a flaky pastry this time. The pastry recipe is from Martha Stewart and for the filling it is my own recipe. I used the ingredients as per hubby’s wish and it turned out so yumm.
The dough is made just like a pie crust but little extra water is added to make it pliable. It is then chilled until the filling is ready. Empanada reminded me of our samosas. You can use any filling for these empanadas. Some delicious fuillings I could think of are potato masala, cheese, chocolate, coconut and sugar. There is no limit to your creativity. The pastry turned out so crispy and flaky and the soft filling was a perfect match to the crispy outer covering. I felt like I was biting into puff pastry.
Makes 4 Large Empanadas
For The Pastry:
Flour/ Maida-2 cups
Baking Powder-1 tsp
Cold Butter-1/4 cup
Ice Cold Water-1/2 cup + 2-3 tbs
For The Spicy Mushroom Filling:
Spring Onion-1/4 cup
Mushroom-200 gm pack
Goda Masala-1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder-1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder-1/4 tsp
Red Chilly Powder-1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves-2-3 tbs
Add ice cubes to water to prepare ice cold water.
In a bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
Add cold butter cubes and rub until the butter pieces are broken to pea sized pieces.
Add cold water to make a crumbly dough. Add extra water only if it is too dry.
Cover with a wrap and set in the fridge until the filling is ready.
Heat oil in a pan and add onions and spring onions.
When golden add tomatoes and mushrooms.
Add all the spices and salt and cook covered until done.
The filling must be very dry. Add coriander leaves and allow it to cool completely.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Divide the dough into four equal portions.
Roll each portion into a slightly thick disc.
Place filling on the half and fold over the other half on the filling.
Press edges with a fork to seal.
With a knife make small hole on top of the empanadas.
Brush the top with milk.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden.
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