Growing up in India, one of my favorite snacks was puffs. The flaky pastry pockets with a spicy filling of vegetables, egg or chicken were the ultimate after-school/college comfort snacks. They are like the turnovers you get here in US, only savory. My mom would get them from my favorite bakery and it would be waiting, warm and delicious, along with my evening tea. Incidentally, it was also my grandad's favorite snack and tussle we did for the last one! LOL
When I first came across frozen puff pastry sheets at the grocery store, the first thing that popped into my head was "Puffs for tea time, Yipee!!". I think I made them with mushroom filling that time. Oh! were they satisfying?! Ever since, I have made many savory and sweet versions of them. By the way, you can fill them with berry jam and serve warm with a big scoop of ice cream and toasted nuts for a scrumptious dessert!
And, ofcourse, they make perfect finger food at parties. So, that is exactly what I did for a recent house party we hosted. I deconstructed the concept of the puff to make delicate pastry cups filled with curried egg and topped with a dollop of sour cream for a bit of fresh flavor. You can easily substitute the eggs with shredded cooked chicken or shrimps.
Its is just a fancy way of serving up the same childhood flavors that we grew up with and reliving those carefree memories .... :)
Curried Egg Cups
1 puff pastry sheet, thawed
3 eggs, hard boiled
1 medium onion, julienned
2 tomatoes, diced fine
1 T tomato paste
4 Indian green chillies or 1 jalapeno, diced fine
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 T spicy salsa
12 tsp sour cream
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
a bit of coriander/parsley for garnish
salt to taste
2 T oil
1 muffin pan
Saute the onions in oil until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for a couple of minutes more. Add the turmeric, cumin, cayenne and season with salt as needed. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and 2 T of water and cook till fully done and the sauce is thick. Rough chop and toss in the eggs into the onion-tomato mixture and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the over to 400 degrees. On a well-floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to an approximate 9" x 12" size. Make 12 square pieces of the pastry. Line each muffin cup with a pastry and arrange so as to form a cup inside. Spoon in egg mixture into each cup.
Place the pan in oven and bake for 18-20 minutes until the sides are puffed and golden. Let the pastries cool for a few minutes. Top each cup with a teaspoon of sour cream and garnished with a spring of coriander/parsley.
Arrange on a decorative serving platter.