Warm, flaky and crispy on the outside, buttery and delicious from within, Vegetable Curry Puff is great as an appetizer, tea-time snack, or, as a lunch surprise for kids!
Making these puffs is ever so simple. I saute assorted vegetables and paneer (Indian cottage cheese) with Indian spices, and stuff it in a baked puff pastry shell. I use store-bought frozen puff pastry shells to keep this recipe quick and easy.
It is super easy to customize these puff pastry shells with your choice of sweet or savory filling.
I make this recipe with store-bought puff pastry shells. These ‘pre-shaped’ shells are pretty versatile and can be used for both, sweet and savory dishes.
It is really easy to put these puffs together. Simply bake the shells in the oven as per package directions. Prepare your filling and then stuff the filling in the shells- that’s it!
Tip for a Flaky Puff Pastry
Keep the pastry dough cold. Remove it from the refrigerator just before baking. This ensures a flaky pastry. Softer or room temperature dough doesn’t puff up and tends to becomes too dense and chewy.
I combine assorted vegetables like bell pepper, frozen peas, frozen corn, gold potatoes and cook them with onions, ginger, garlic and season it with toasted Indian spices.
I like to add paneer to this mix. Paneer is a firm Indian cottage cheese that not only adds protein to the dish, but adds a nice creamy texture that goes really well with the crisp puff pastry. I use this filling to make Vegetable Panini as well.
Puff Pastry Filling Variations
I make these puffs as appetizers, or as tea-time snacks, and, they make for great school lunches for kids too. But I keep switching the filling. I serve them as-is, or with tomato ketchup, Sriracha or cilantro chutney, depending on the flavors of the filling.
There are endless possibilities for the filling. Some of the popular ones in my home are:
- Pizza puffs: I saute sausage, onions and peppers with Italian seasoning. Add a couple of teaspoons of marinara sauce to the baked shells, add sausage mix, top it with mozzarella cheese and garnish with basil.
- Parmesan Mushroom & Peas Puffs: Saute crimini mushrooms in olive oil, salt and pepper. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and cook till mushrooms are nice and brown. Add thawed peas to this mix. Turn off the flame and mix in some grated parmesan cheese. Stuff the baked shells. The remaining heat from the mushrooms melts the parmesan cheese and binds the mix really well. Garnish with chopped parsley.
- Keema Puffs: I make keema (ground meat) using this recipe: Keema Mutter. Bake the shells and fill them with the keema mix. Garnish with chopped cilantro!
- Berries & Cream: Sprinkle some sugar and zest of a lemon on mixed berries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries. Toss well. Sprinkle some sugar on the pastry before baking. Bake shells and cool them for 10 minutes. Stuff the berries in the shells, and top with sweetened whipped cream.
Easy Steps for Making Vegetable Curry Puffs
Place cold pastry shell on baking sheet
Bake as per package directions
Remove the center caps
Stuff with filling
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Vegetable Puffs Recipe
- 12 Puff Pastry Shells : thawed in the refrigerator (1 pack typically contains 6 shells)
- 1 tablespoon ghee or olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 inch ginger grated fine, or 1/2 teaspoon Ginger Powder
- 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne adjust to taste
- 2 teaspoons coriander powder
- 10 oz block of paneer : cubed in 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 gold potato : cubed in 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup bell pepper chopped
- 1/4 cup frozen corn thawed for few minutes
- 1/4 cup frozen peas thawed for few minutes
BAKE PASTRY SHELLS
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place the shell dough keeping 1 inch distance between them. Bake the shells in a pre-heated oven as per package directions. Cool 5-10 minutes before handling.
PREPARE FILLING (Instant Pot or Stove)
- Heat ghee or oil in a wide skillet on medium-high heat. Add potatoes and grated ginger, and stir well. Cover with a glass lid and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add cubed paneer, vegetables, tomato ketchup and spices. Stir well. Cover and cook for 7-8 minutes, until the veggies soften.
- Open the lid, add roasted cumin, chaat masala and cilantro and saute for 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.
Instant Pot Instructions
- Turn on Instant Pot on SAUTE (high). Add cumin seeds and wait for them to sizzle.
- Add potatoes, grated ginger, paneer, vegetables, tomato ketchup and spices. Stir well, cover with a glass lid and continue to cook on saute mode for 5-7 minutes. Alternatively, cancel saute. Close lid. Press Pressure Cook/Manual for 0 minutes, vent set to sealing.
- Manually release pressure after cooking is done (QR). Open lid after pin drops. If the vegetable filling is too watery, turn on SAUTE, and cook it off for a few minutes till it is dry.
- Add roasted cumin, chaat masala and cilantro and stir. Filling is ready for stuffing.
FILL PUFFS and SERVE
- Using a pairing knife, or your fingers, gently remove the center cap of the shell. It comes off really smoothly. You can re-use it and top the puff with it after filling it, I usually snack on it while filling the shells 🙂
- Fill the shell with a couple of tablespoons of filling. Serve with tomato ketchup, Sriracha or Cilantro chutney.