I met Priti when our daughters were in preschool – my youngest was in her daughter’s class. One day I signed up for an Indian cooking class with Priti and a few other moms. We cooked several different Indian delights, and I came home with photocopies of recipes for samosas, green sauce, and curries. She cooked in the “Jain” tradition, a vegetarian diet where nothing that grows underground may be used — no garlic, ginger or onions, which are considered dark, lethargic and smelly while everything else was full of light an goodness. I was intrigued, having never imagined cooking anything without garlic or onions! Some stricter versions of Jain cooking also exclude potatoes and any root vegetables, but her recipes had potatoes.
1 box pre-made puff pastry
4 large red potatoes, boiled and finely chopped
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons ground fenugreek
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon mango powder
salt to taste
small bowl of water
For the green sauce:
Large bunch of cilantro
1 large peeled apple, chopped
Green chilies to taste (see note below; 4 would be medium-spicy)
1/4 to 1/3 cup lemon juice, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Heat a large, deep skillet and add spices. Heat spices until fragrant. Add potatoes and peas and cook, stirring so ingredients are well mixed.
- Break dough into squares, flour lightly and roll with a rolling pin to thin them a bit. Put 1-2 tablespoons of potato-mixture into the center of each square, then dip fingers in water, dab onto inside edge of dough and fold and pinch the edges of the dough square together to create three- or four-sided little pillows.
- Bake until golden, approximately 12 minutes, turning once.
- Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for the green sauce in a blender or food processor.
When the kids were young, I excluded the chilies. I still tend to chop fresh chilies and leave them on the table for folks to add to their individual plates. I have tried several kinds and I feel as though they all vary so much as far as temperature goes. I usually test them before adding, just to know what I’m dealing with. I think one is usually more safe with jalapeños for a milder pepper, but even some of them can ruin a dish if they are too hot. Keeping them whole and uncut tends to add a nice fragrance and not as much heat.