Warm, flaky and crispy on the outside, buttery and delicious from within, these Vegetable Puffs are great as a tea-time snack, or, as a lunch surprise for kids! Making these is ever so simple. A healthy assortment of vegetables is tossed in an aromatic Indian masala and stuffed inside a golden-brown baked puff pastry shell. These puffs can be easily customized with your choice of filling- sweet or savory. Using store-bought pastry dough makes this a weeknight treat for me.
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 from refrigerator just before baking. This ensured a flaky pastry. Softer or room temperature dough, doesn’t puff up and tends to becomes too dense.
I combine assorted vegetables like bell pepper, frozen peas, frozen corn, gold potatoes and cook them with aromatics and Indian spices. I like to add paneer to this mix. It not only adds protein to the dish, but the creamy paneer goes really well with the flaky puff pastry. I use this filling to make Vegetable Paninis as well.
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.
There are endless possibilities for the filling. Some of the common 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 Vegetable Puffs
Here’s how easy it is to make these Vegetable 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
Garnish after opening instant pot lid:
- 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.
- Make Filling: Heat ghee or oil in Instant Pot on SAUTE (high). Add cumin seeds and wait for them to sizzle. Add potatoes and grated ginger, and stir well. Cover the pot with a glass lid. Cook the potatoes on SAUTE for 2-3 minutes. Open lid. Add paneer, vegetables, tomato ketchup and spices. Stir well. Cancel saute. Close lid. Press 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 runny, turn on SAUTE, and cook it off for a few minutes till it's dry. Adjust seasoning. Add roasted cumin, chaat masala and cilantro.
- Fill the Puffs: 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.
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