Monday, November 30, 2009

Kheema Puffs

We had a really fun Thanksgiving weekend. Lots of great food and great company. I really wanted to make a post last week about all the great food but it got so busy that we simply forgot to take pictures and before we knew it there was none of it left! However, A did manage to get a picture of these Kheema (ground meat) puffs before they were gone :).

The inspiration for this enticing appetizer comes from my Mum who makes delicious Kheema patties. This involves a delicious mixture (ground goat with lots of spice) in a mashed potato cover which is then shallow fried. Sinful but totally worth it. It is also quite labor intensive, especially the part of stuffing the mince into the potato covers. I took an easier route by using puff pastry sheets, filling little pockets of these with the kheema mixture and baking them. The result was quite good :).

During this long weekend especially with all the cooking and eating, I couldn't help thinking about this article I read a couple of weeks back in The New Yorker. It's a story about this amazing woman (The Good Cook) in North Korea who survived the famine in the 1990s by cooking anything edible, including grass and weeds she collected. Its a story of unimaginable hardship for something as simple as a basic meal. It made me feel eternally grateful for everything we have.


2 big garlic cloves, grated/minced
1" piece of ginger, grated/minced
3 tablespoons yogurt
1 and 1/2 teaspoons red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 kilo mince goat/lamb meat (kheema)

3 cloves
7 peppercorns
1 bayleaf
1/2 cinnamon stick

2 medium sized onions, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
juice of half lemon

2 puff pastry sheets

- Combine all the ingredients for the marinade together with the ground meat and marinate atleast for an hour or preferably overnight.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil and add all the spices from cloves through cinnamon and fry for a minute or till fragrant.
- Add chopped onion and fry till golden brown.
- Add chopped tomatoes and fry for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the marinated ground meat mixture and mix well, stirring for another 2 minutes.
- Add a cup of water (add more if more gravy needed, for the puffs its preferable to have no gravy) and bring to a boil.
- Pressure cook till the meat is well cooked (10-15 minutes).
- Cook for another 5 minutes uncovered till the water dries up.
- Add salt if required and lemon juice.
- Let mixture cool down completely.

For making the puffs:
- Roll the puff pastry sheets to thin them out a bit.
- Cut into squares and spoon the filling onto them.
- Bake in a 350F oven for 20 minutes or till golden brown.

2 Puff pastry sheets make around 24 puffs. If there is leftover kheema, I am sure you will find a way to use it up :)

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