Saturday, August 2, 2014

Masala Dosa-Inspired Puff Pastry Tarts

Ever wonder what would happen if a pissaladiere, a puff pastry tart, and a masala dosa had a three-way that led to, er, "issue"? No? Hmmm. Well, I have, and I like to think that in the blessed event, such a a groovy culinary lovechild would look (and taste) something like this.

Masala Dosa-Inspired Puff Pastry Tarts
~ 1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, thawed (Pepperidge Farm is vegan)
~ 1/2 lb. brown mushrooms, sliced
~ 1-2 tbsp. coconut oil
~ 1/2 tsp. each: mustard seeds, cumin seeds
~ 2 tbsp. chana dal
~ 1 small onion, diced
~ 2 cloves garlic, minced
~ 1 tbsp. fresh, grated ginger
~ 4-5 small potatoes, cooked and cubed
~ 1/2 tsp. each: black salt, cumin, garam masala, chili powder, turmeric, asafoetida, fenugreek
~ 1/4-1/2 cup water, as needed
~ 1/2 cup fresh or frozen green peas
~ 1/4 cup chopped, fresh cilantro

~ Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit and lightly coat two baking sheets with cooking spray.
~ In a nonstick or cast iron skillet, cook the mushrooms over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes, until browned and fragrant. Sprinkle with a little salt, transfer to a plate, and set aside.
~ In the same pan, melt the coconut oil and cook the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and chana dal over medium-high heat for a few minutes, until the seeds start to pop. Add the onions and continue cooking about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are softened but not brown.
~ Add the garlic and ginger, cook for about minute, and then stir in the cubed, cooked potatoes.
~ Fry the potatoes for about 5 minutes, turning them so they get a bit brown, and then add the dry seasonings, stirring to coat. You can add some water to the pan if things start to stick.
~ Stir in the peas and cook just another minute or two, until they turn bright green.
~ Add the reserved, cooked mushrooms and combine thoroughly.
~ Remove from heat and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
~ Arrange the thawed puff pastry on the baking sheets; gently fold in the edges and crimp to form a rim.
~ Divide the potato mixture evenly between the two sheets, using a spatula to spread it right to the edges.
~ Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until puffed up and golden brown. (Ovens vary wildly, so keep an eye on them; I switched the pans at the halfway point to ensure even baking.)
~ When the tarts are nearly done, sprinkle each one with half the fresh cilantro and return to the oven for about 5 minutes.
~ Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

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