Sep 14, 2012

Empanadas - Fusion Food

Chicken Empanadas
Western Gujiya or Modified Samosa!
Empanadas are a famous and loved South American snack. I got fond of it after watching loads of American food shows on ndtv and masterchef! But I realized upon making it that its nothing more than a gujiya with a different filling, or like a samosa. The basic difference being that the dough of empanada used en egg too. Vegetarians can always omit the egg and add 2 tbsp of buttermilk instead. I tried and they came out quiet well. Empanadas are basically fritters or fried dough filled with a filling of veggies/meat in a half moon shape. The best part is you can try making it in your own version by tweaking the recipe for the filling. I learnt the dough recipe online and am sharing the video for the same as well. After reading you can look at the video for more clarity. Please note that the healthier version of empanadas can be baked instead of frying. The recipe might seem long because it has 2 components, but its quite simple and worth trying.

Makes 10 Empanadas, Serves 5 or 10 depends!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients for dough:
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tsp vinegar
3 tbsp butter

Preparation of dough:
  • In a bowl, whisk the water, egg, egg white and vinegar together. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the 3 cups of flour and salt.
  • Add the butter into the flour mix and mix well using forks.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour mix and pour the liquid ingredients from the first bowl into the center.
  • Mix the wet and dry ingredients with a fork until it becomes stiff and well combined.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it just until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but never more than 24 hours.
Tip: If you want to keep the dough longer than 24 hours, you can freeze it.
Watch the video for the same here.

Making the Filling
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Baked Empanadas
1 whole chicken breast (500 gms), skin removed
½ white onion, sliced
1 bay leaf
2 garlic cloves, crushed
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 medium tomatoes chopped
Grated cheese – 2 tbsp [processed or parmesan cheese]
2 red chilies
2 tsp pepper
Salt to taste
2 tbsp chopped coriander
Oil for frying [if you are not baking]

Recipe for filling
  • Boil 2 cups of water. Add a bay leaf and simmer the chicken breast in it.
  • Once cooked, take out the chicken ion a plate and shred it using a fork.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add chopped onion and garlic; saute until soft and translucent.
  • Stir in cumin and chilies. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add shredded chicken, tomatoes, and 1 cup of water in which chicken was boiled.
  • Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until liquid has thickened, about 25 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir in coriander and set aside to cool.
Making the Empanadas:
  • Break off a 1 ½ inch ball of empanada dough.
  • On a clean work surface, roll dough into a small circle like a chapatti/roti, just slightly thicker.
  • Using a katori, cut out a 3 inch round of dough. (Or use an inverted glass and cut with a knife.)
  • Place 2 tsp filling in center of each round; sprinkle with cheese.
  • Moisten the edges of dough with water.
  • Fold the dough over to seal, pressing gently. Crimp edges with a fork for design and sealing; set aside.
  • Repeat with remaining dough.
  • Heat the oil for frying in a pan/wok.
  • Add only 2-3 empanadas at a time. Fry until golden, turning once, about 1 minute.
  • Transfer to drain on a paper napkin.
  • Alternatively you can bake them on 375 degrees F or 180 C for 15-20 mins till the outside is light golden brown. Before baking, brush them with egg yolk.
  • Serve hot with ketchup or mint chutney.
More history and variations around the world for Empanada is here.Click Here to read.
More recipes with different fillings shortly!


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