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Easy Indian Cheesy Pastry Puffs

Author: Hetal Vanmali, BSc Hons Appetizer


Indian Cheesy Pastry Puffs are a delightful fusion that brings together the best of both worlds - spicy, savoury Indian flavours with the irresistible pull of melted cheese and flaky pastry. All in just 35 minutes! Perfect for a pot luck, party, snack or an appetizer, these bites are sure to be a hit. Happy cooking, and may your kitchen always be filled with delicious aromas!


Prep time: 15 minutes

Bake time: 20 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes



Indian Cheesy Pastry Puffs
Indian Cheesy Pastry Puffs

Let's face it, these are not the healthiest! Pastry never is! And that is why they are the perfect treat for a pot luck, movie snack for an evening with your special ones, or if you're having guests over.


I am tempted to share a little story. I had baked these for the very first time, and after writing the recipe it was time to pick up my oldest boy, aged 9, from school. I thought to myself, why not take some in a container for him to snack in the car, turns out I also had a little catch up session with my friend and decided to open up the container and see what everyone thought. Let's just say, no-one talked, lots of smiles and a very long thumbs up from my son! The container was empty in the first few minutes of opening it (it was the whole batch!) The best part is they are so easy to make! Just 35 minutes!


I hope you make them and love them as much as we did!


Your questions answered for Indian cheesy pastry puffs


Can I use other types of cheese? Absolutely! While cheddar gives a lovely nutty flavour, you can experiment with mozzarella, feta, or even a spicy pepper jack for a kick.


Can I make these ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the pastry bites ahead of time and freeze them. When ready to serve, bake them straight from the freezer; just add a few extra minutes to the baking time.


Indian Cheesy Pastry Puffs
Indian Cheesy Pastry Puffs


What can I use instead of puff pastry? You can use filo dough for a lighter, crispier bite, or make your own pastry dough if you prefer.


Are these bites vegetarian? Yes, if you use milk for the wash instead of an egg. The filling is entirely vegetarian, and it can easily be made vegan by using dairy-free cheese options.


Can I add difference spices or vegetables to the pastry bites? Sure! Cooked and shredded chicken or minced lamb would make excellent additions. Just ensure the meat is cooked before adding it to the filling mixture.




Indian Cheesy Pastry Puffs ingredients
Indian Cheesy Pastry Puffs ingredients


Tips and Tricks for the perfect pastry puffs:


1. Thaw the Pastry Properly: If using frozen puff pastry, ensure it’s fully thawed but still cold. This makes it easier to handle and gives the best puff when baked.


2. Keep the Filling Dry: Too much moisture in the filling can make the pastry soggy.


3. Seal the Edges Well: Use a fork to press the edges together firmly. This prevents the filling from oozing out during baking.


Indian Cheesy Pastry Puffs
Indian Cheesy Pastry Puffs


4. Don't Overfill: It might be tempting to pack in as much filling as possible, but overfilling can cause the pastry to burst open.


5. Creative Shapes: While squares, triangles and rectangles are classic, you can get creative with shapes. Try twisting the pastry for a fun presentation or using a cookie cutter for themed bites.


6. Egg Wash for Shine: An egg wash gives a beautiful golden shine to your pastries. If you’re using milk, a sprinkle of sesame or nigella seeds on top can add extra visual appeal and flavour.


7. Serve Fresh: These pastries are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven when they’re crispy and warm. They still taste crunchy until 7-8 hours after they are baked! If reheating, use an oven or toaster oven to maintain the crispiness.


8. Don't Cover them until they have Cooled: Make sure they have properly cooled before storing them in an air tight container, otherwise they will become soft with the moisture of the steam.


Recipe for Indian Cheesy Pastry Puffs


Prep time:

15 minutes

Bake time:

17-20 minutes

Total time:

35 minutes

Servings

30 pastry puffs


Ingredients


  • 2 tablespoons oil or butter

  • 3/4 cups chopped onion

  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder (1/2 in you want mild puffs)

  • 3/4 cup cheese cut into small cubes

  • 400g butter puff pastry


Topping


  • 2 tablespoons salted butter

  • 1 teaspoon garlic

  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and prepare 2 baking sheets.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan over medium heat.

  3. Braze onions for 5 minutes, then add garlic, cilantro, salt, cumin powder and cayenne pepper powder. Sizzle for a further 3 minutes.

  4. Remove into a bowl and add the cheese cube, mix until combined.

  5. Lay out 1 pastry on a large piece of parchment paper and cut about 3 inch wide strips with a pizza cuter or knife. The add the mixture to half the strip length wise, making a long line.

  6. Fold the strip over itself and use a fork to press the edge together firmly

  7. Now cut roughly 1 inch bite sized squares.

  8. Spread the bites out creating some space around each block. Pick up the parchment paper and place it in a baking tray. You may need to repeat for another batch.

  9. Using a pastry brush, baste some milk or egg wash over the pastry.

  10. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until the top is deep golden brown. Meanwhile, add the topping ingredients to a pot on medium heat and bring to a sizzle (around 1 minutes). Set aside.

  11. Baste the topping over the top of the cooked pastry - enjoy!

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