Iyengar Bakery Style Vegetable Puffs

Another ubiquitous eatery in southern Karnataka is the Iyengar Bakery. Traditionally only communities have been associated with bakery business in the region. One is the Iyengars (A vegetarian Sri-Vishnava bramhin community following the visistadviata school of Sriramanujacharya), The other being the muslim community.Of course in the recent decades socio-economic liberalisation has lead to a state of affairs where such generalisations are far from reality. But used to be true for the by-gone era. The famous joke in Kannada says that Bakery can be either Hebbar(Sect of Iyengar) or Jabbar(A muslim name).
The Iyengar bakeries used to sell vegetarian goodies .. i love their stuff.. the puffs, the pastries, the fruit cake.. yum yum yum... my mouth diligently waters as i think of all the goodies..I still wonder how they were able to bake those perfectly fluffy-moist cakes without using eggs!!Should say it was a great art indeed. On the other had the muslim bakeries were famous for stuff like keema puffs, keema samosa,egg puffs, chicken patties and other non vegetarian snacks. Since my exposure was just restricted to occassional egg puffs cant write a great deal about them.
It is different with the Iyengar bakery though.
They can be actully be found within any given 0.5 km radius any where in South Karnataka, a few being more famous than the others. My favorite was the one that was just off the road near my house in Mahalaxmi Layout, Bangalore- the great S.L.N Bakery. I just used to love their puffs.(Now i realise how heavy they are in terms of calories, but back then its the best phase of my life when i could eat any thing i could lay my hands on!!!!)
So fine morning here in the east coast i woke with a craving to eat my beloved Iyengar bakery puffs!!! So this was my only option had to do it. Also i decided to make it just a bit more lighter in calories. They turned out to be yummy and me and my spouse ended up having on a perfectly lazy weekday (we had declared a holiday for ourselves!!! that day).
Here is the recipe. A word about the shape of the puffs. The puffs as can be seen in the photo is very unlike the Iyengar bakery puffs available in the Bangalore. This is my tribute to the Delhi style patties which are very similar to puffs except for the shape. For all my years in Delhi i decided to pay a small tribute in terms of altering the shpae of my puffs!
You will need;
Puff Pastery Sheets - 1 (i used pepperidge farms) (two 1/3 of a sheet if making the low calorie version)
Egg 1 beaten
for the filling:
Potatoes 2 large (cut into small cubes)
Peas 1/2 cup
Onion 1 large
Other mixed vegetables (optional)
Chilly powder (as required)
Dhania powder 2 teaspoons
amchoor 1 teaspoon
garam masala 1 teaspoon
Corriander leaves
Thaw the Pastrt sheets according to the instuctions on the pack or for about 30-40 minutes.
Prepare the filling in the mean while. Heat oil in a pan and drop the jeera. When it stops spluttering add the chopped onion. Saute for a few minutes. Then drop the potatoes, sprinkle some salt and cover. Cook for about 10 minutes til almost done. mix in the peas and other vegetables if using along with the spices. Mix well and simmer for a few more minutes till the raw smell disappers and the vegetable are done. Keep it aside to cool. Start the filling only once it cools down to room temperature or low.
Now for the pastry sheet. If taking the low calorie route, take a third of the sheet and cut it into two. work with 2 of those 1/3 sheets to get 4 pieces. Dust a dry surface with some all purpose flour and roll out the cut sheets a bit to increase the size of the sheet by about 1/2" on all sides. Now fill the sheet with the potato mixture and brush the edges with some beaten eggs (water works as fine). Seal the edges to get desired shapes. Brush the beaten egg on top of the puffs. Repeat with the remaining sheets. Lay down the stuffed sheets on a greased baking sheet and pop it into the oven at 350 degree. Check once after 15 minutes . Mine was done in 20 minutes. It wont take long at all. So keep a close eye after 10-15 minuted.
For those lucky people not counting calories. The puffs can be make even more flaky and more tasty of course.
Take the full sheet brush some melted butter over the sheet. Fold it once with the top edge closing on to the bottom edge. Brush some more butter and fold it once more similarly. now cut the sheet into 3 equal slices. Roll out each of those sheets by a few more inches and follow the stuffing and baking procedure given above..


Lakshmi said...

waiting to touch down in Bangalore and hog on those hot puffs !

Shilpa L said...

I always wonder why do the Iyengar bakery cakes smell like eggs. When asked they say iyengar products are eggless but then all the cakes and buns do smell like eggs...dont they?

Unknown said...

I like this vegetable puffs. Thanks for sharing about it.
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Agila said...

I tried it it came out tasty...Thanks for ur receipt...I used water only instead of egg

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