A Truly International Turnover

Large SamosaAs many of you know, some time ago I came across By the Bay’s Potato knish recipe using Chebe bread mix, and I had an epiphany. Making pastry for turnovers or perogies didn’t necessarily have to be difficult! This might sound obvious to many of you, especially if you haven’t dealt much with gluten free flours, but it was a new idea for me. I’ve always loved pastry, and there are some fantastic mixes and recipes out there. My favorite packaged mix is the Gluten Free Pantry’s perfect pie crust mix, and for a homemade mix, Bette Hagman’s Dream pastry can’t be beat. They are lovely when all you want in the world is a buttery, flakey pie crust filled with some sweet, yummy goodness. And if you’re dying for a rich, savory spinach pie or other french style concoction, they serve very nicely in that role as well. But what about hearty, simple street or home fare like turnovers or perogies? Do we really need or want to fight with some delicate dough that requires mixing, refrigeration and then painstaking care when we roll it out? I don’t know about you all, but I’m only that motivated around holiday time. For an everyday meal, I want something that is easy to roll out and that I can actually pick up in my hands without it falling apart. Enter Chebe mix.

If you haven’t heard of Chebe GF mixes, you really ought to check them out. I had only made pizza and cinnamon twists with them previously, and while I thought they were reasonably tasty, I found them to be a bit chewy for bread, especially when they cooled. But- miraculously, when it’s rolled out to a thin pastry width, it becomes the most pliable, sturdy gluten free dough I’ve ever encountered. But- you might be wondering- what IS chebe?

“Known as pão de queijo in Portuguese, meaning cheese bread, Chebe (pronounced chee-bee) is a small cheese-flavored roll, popular snack in Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina. It is distinctive not only because it is made of cassava(tapioca starch) or corn flour, but also because the inside is chewy and moist. . . . Its size may range from one to six inches in diameter, with about two inches of height. In Paraguay and Argentina, smaller chipá can also be found.” (source: Wikipedia)

This cheese bread, or cheese bun, as it is also called, usually has… well, cheese in it. But it has great qualities without it, and an interesting, slightly salty, earthy flavor on its own that lends itself well to savory recipes. And ever since I first made BytheBay’s potato knish, I’ve been thinking- what ELSE could I seal up in this lovely little pastry packet? When I made masala for dosa the other night, it suddenly occurred to me- there actually is a tradition in India of filling pastry with potatoes in a lovely turnover… the samosa! What if I took my masala and filled chebe pastry with that, and baked it? Of course it would be more traditional to deep fry it, but this is healthier, and it is after all fusion food. Who ever heard of tapioca pastry, anyway?

So, that is exactly what I did the next day. I made up a batch of the chebe dough, rolled it out, and even used my much ignored dough presses to make them a lovely half circle shape with elegantly ridged edges. I found the two largest sizes worked best. I was especially excited by the 4 inch press, which resulted in a turnover that looked like a very satisfying and portable meal all by itself. After they emerged all pretty and golden from the oven, I served them with Trader Joe’s tomato chutney (Indian relish) and a sprig of cilantro. Coconut, mint, or cashew chutney would probably have been quite nice as well. When I bit into the first (my first ever!) samosa and tasted the buttery, sweet flavor of masala potatoes mingled with crunchy chebe pastry, I was in heaven. It might not have been as deep fried and decadent as the traditional version- but it tasted just about perfect to me.

Aloo Masala Samosa
Small Samosa
Small Samosa
Ingredients
BytheBay’s Knish Dough:

1 7.5-ounce package Chebe All-Purpose Gluten-Free Bread Mix
2 large eggs
2 tbsp oil or softened margarine
5 tbsp milk, liquid milk substitute, or water
3 tbsp oil or beaten egg, set aside

My recipe of Masala for Dosa (In files or see below) 1/2 or 1/3 of recipe.

Nonstick cooking spray

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine ingredients for dough and knead until fully combined. Roll out dough inside a gallon ziploc bag with the sides cut open. (This makes it easier to roll out the dough, as it doesn’t stick to the bag as badly as it would stick to the rolling pin.) There should be enough dough to do this several times. If you have one, use a dough press and lay one layer of dough lightly over the press, place filling evenly on one half of the press. Fold over press and press lightly to seal edges. Take a sharp knife and cut the excess dough outside the crimping edges. Open press and carefully peel samosa off, being careful not to handle the pretty, crimped edges. Place on baking sheet. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Notes
I know samosa are supposed to be deep fried, but this is a healthier and extremely tasty variation on a traditional recipe. Besides, it’s way easier to bake than fry, right?

By the way, DH and I usually polish off a recipe in a night, so it doesn’t matter, but they do get a bit chewy the next day. Happily, if you stick them in the oven for 10-15 minutes, they will get all crispy and yummy again. Mmmm…

Additional Pictures
Complete Uncooked SamosaSamosas Ready for the Oven
Masala for Dosa
Yummy Masala Goodness
Yummy Masala Goodness
Ingredients
3 tbsp vegetable oil (add a smidgen of ghee for flavor, sub 1 tbsp of mustard oil for additional flavor if desired)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal (optional)
1/2 tsp cumin leaves (or not, it’s up to you)
1 lg onion, thinly sliced
1 lg. anaheim chili (or 2 small serrano chilies)
8-10 fresh Kari leaves
1 tsp turmeric (ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY ingredient)
6 lg. potatoes, peeled and boiled
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup green peas (frozen is fine, preferably defrosted and drained)
Directions
Heat oil in pan with lid and add mustard seeds and urad dal. Let begin to pop slightly (but don’t burn), and add cumin, then quickly add thinly sliced onion and anaheim chili. When onion has gone transparent, reduce heat, add the turmeric and mix throughout dish. Everything will turn a lovely golden color. (Including your hands and counters if not careful- it does stain.) Toss in lovely Kari leaves and then add the potatoes, mashing them with a potato masher or crumbling in fingers as you add them. Mix, mix, mix. Add salt, mix well, cook for 5 minutes and add peas, tossing lightly. Cook for 5 more minutes and then remove from heat.
Notes
This recipe keeps very well, and freezes beautifully. I often make up a whole batch, and then DH and I use half for lovely masala dosas (we buy batter at our local Indian store Namaste), and then put the rest in a tupperware dish, labeled, and store in freezer until our next Dosa night. Very yummy in Masala Dosa, especially with a side of Sambar and coconut or cashew chutney.

Mini Samosa half of a Samosa Another Samosa


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18 Responses to “A Truly International Turnover”

  1. Looks tasty! I miss samosas, will have to try this (though I have to admit I will probably deep-fry them or at least pan-fry them).

    I owe you an e-mail but have been really busy. Will e-mail you soon. BTW… is this site syndicated? It doesn’t seem to be, so I can’t add it to my Google Reader.

  2. I hope you do try them fried- I was just too lazy to bother, haha. But if you do- I must insist that you share pictures! ;)

    I don’t think the site has been set up for RSS feeds etc, but I’m not sure- DH is in India at the moment and he’s usually my tech consultant… hmmm… well, I will try to set it up at some point… :)

    -Sea

  3. What’s in the Chebe flour mix? I don’t have the money to buy mixes, so I purchase separate flours, and bake that way. And I’d really like to make samosas.

  4. Chebe flour mix is made from tapioca starch, but what makes it unique is probably that it uses modified as well as regular tapioca starch, and also has salt, cream of tartar, and sodium bicarbonate. You can look at http://www.chebe.com to get more info. I’m not sure where you can purchase modified manioc. I have heard that Carol Fenster’s books “Gluten-Free 101″ has a recipe for Chebe bread, and you can find a recipe for it by searching the SillyYaks message archives (it’s a Yahoo group). But, you’ll probably get the best results by using the mix for this recipe. I ordered two cases online (16 packages) for $3.15 each. (Discounted for bulk order). I usually do my own mixes as well, ordering quantities of flour at a time online and then storing them and mixing up as needed- definitely a money-saver. But- haven”t quite figured out chebe yet… Hope this helps…

    I’m hoping someone tries this recipe fried- I’d be very curious about how the dough responds. :)

    -Sea

  5. Hi, I got here from karina’s and I can’t wait to try these!! What a fabulous idea – thanks so much for the recipe!

  6. You are very welcome- I’m glad to have visitors, and posting visitors at that. Yay!
    -Sea

  7. Recipe for making Idli/Dosa Batter

    1 cup of raw rice
    3/4 cup of urad dal

    soak rice in 3 cups of water and soak urad dal seperatly in 1 and half cup of water.throw away the water in which rice was soaked. retain the water in which urad dal was soaked and grind urad dal as thick paste with water retained above, add rice and grind again till both are mixed the consistency should be similar to prepared idli batter .Keep the batter outside the refrigerator for 8 hours. it should not be left out (outside the refrigerator) for more than 8 hours.

    –Pushpa

  8. Thank you for the recipe Pushpa! Sounds delicious! :)
    -Sea

  9. [...] You will note that homemade gluten free crackers rate a 6 on the scale, two points above my point of resistance. Pie crust is generally a 4. Well, luckily, I find Chebe dough so easy to work with that when I make recipes using it, I have to knock things down a point or so on the scale. I will cheerfully roll out dough for perogies/ knishes out of Chebe like nobody’s business, because it’s extremely supple and forgiving dough that is practically fun to work with. It’s even a weekday dish, rather than just a weekend, because I find it so easy to work with. But you won’t find me making pie out of normal pie crust on the weekday, no sir. It’s just too much hassle! Given this, yesterday when I felt the urge to bake, I found myself doing one of the more unlikely baking projects- making Chebe goldfish crackers! I make crackers extremely rarely, but they are worth the effort when I finally do it. My favorites are Rebecca Reilly’s gluten free graham crackers and Bette Hagman’s various crackers, but don’t ask me the last time I made them. Anyway, I kept hearing people say they made crackers out of chebe, and I was finally so curious I had to try it for myself. I took a recipe from Chebe’s recipe page and adapted it slightly, adding garlic powder for additional flavor, and dusting the baking tin with cornmeal for additional crunch and to make it easier to remove the crackers from the pan. They were surprisingly easy to make, and my fish cookie cutter worked very well, although it created more of a “whale” sized cracker rather than a little fish sized cracker. (I can’t imagine making hundreds of little fish crackers, I think I’d go buggy!) I only made up half of the recipe, and the other half of the dough is reserved in my refrigerator (I have an idea about tart cups, hmmm…), but I had a very nice little stack of crackers when I was done. The crackers themselves were very tasty, with the characteristic tapioca chebe flavor and good crunch and flavor. Happily, they are still good the next day, and don’t need to be reheated in the oven (unlike chebe pizza or knishes). So, if you’re feeling slightly ambitious in the kitchen and want some cheesy gluten free crackers with more personality than little bland circles, why not make your own fish or whale shaped crackers? Or, how about seasonal crackers- I think pumpkin, bats, goblins and ghost crackers would be pretty darned cute, myself. [...]

  10. [...] I was ecstatic when I realized that South India had many naturally gluten free offerings. First I tried the buttery, crisp dosa crepes filled with an assortment of fillings like masala potato filling. After my success with the dosa, I tried the other offerings like idli and uppatham. I was so crazy about dosa that I ended up rarely ordering the steamed idli rice cakes, as I found them a bit plain. However, on another message board I’m on I read about stuffed idli with a flavorful filling like tomato chutney steamed inside the disc. I was intrigued, so I gave idli another shot using some premade fermented idli batter from a local indian market in Mountain View, California. I was thrilled to find that these stuffed idli were delicious, especially served with spicy sambar soup and a homemade Cashew Nut Chutney, a mint chutney, or a coconut green chili chutney. It was easy to make the idli using my idli mold that I had bought at the City Market in Bangalore, India, but you could also use an egg poacher for larger idli. I put the mold with idli batter, Trader Joe’s tomato chutney, and more idli batter covering the filling, into a steamer basket in a large soup pot and steamed the idli for around 12 minutes. Then I carefully placed them on a wire rack to cool and enjoyed these tasty snacks with sambar and chutney. Even DH, who sometimes find Indian food too spicy for his taste, gobbled them up. They were terrific reheated briefly in the microwave as a little snack, too. After having such good success with premade idli batter, and a few experiments with powdered idli batter, I was eager to try making idli from scratch. After consulting an expert on all things fermented on the Yahoo Vegetarian GF board, I set out on my first experiment. [...]

  11. [...] Being gluten-free on the road can be difficult, unless you happen to be traveling to some area like Portland, Oregon that has unexpected numbers of health food stores and gluten free bakeries. Luckily, some time ago I came across By the Bay’s brilliant solution to the self-contained meal: gluten free chebe knishes. She took a package of chebe and used the manioc based mix to create a brilliant, pliable dough that can be used for pastries, knish, perogies, and even calzones. The possibilities are endless. My favorite thing is how easy this dough is to roll out and handle- I never thought of pastry as a “weekday meal” option before I discovered Chebe as pastry, but now I don’t hesitate to make baked samosas, spinach tartlets and even calzones as a last minute meal solution. Cool, right? As you can tell, By the Bay’s recipes have really inspired me. But you know what’s better than being inspired by ONE By the Bay recipe? Being inspired by TWO of By the Bay’s recipes at the same time! As part of her un-cooking series, By the Bay featured a recipe for Balsamic Tuna Salad. Maybe I’ve become entirely too obsessed with these chebe meal packets, because as soon as I saw this unconventional tuna salad recipe, I thought that it would undoubtedly taste great baked into a knish! So, some time ago when DH and I planned a road trip to Sacramento and intended to start our trip in the evening, I baked up a big batch of knishes to take with us. Half of the recipe was filled with By the Bay’s potato knish filling, and the other half was filled with balsamic tuna salad! It was absolutely delicious, and very satisfying. The only thing about chebe knishes is that the day after you make them, they really need to be baked in the oven for 10 minutes or so to achieve crispiness, and they’re not very good microwaved. But, since we were chomping in the car relatively soon after I baked them, they were perfect little self contained meals. But, as you know, although I occasionally indulge in seafood, my meal focus is really vegetarian. As soon as I tasted the Balsamic knish, I immediately started thinking of how I could make a vegetarian version. The recipe below is actually my second attempt. The first time I used little white beans, and I was not at all happy with the results. Although usually home baked slow cooked beans are preferable to store bought, in this case the soft mushiness and the bland sweetness of the white beans couldn’t stand up to the vigor of the balsamic sauce. I started thinking about a veggie bean salad I make sometimes, inspired by a trip to Florida, and decided that, since kidney beans hold their own in that vegetable salad recipe with raspberry vinaigrette, they just might stand up to this kind of balsamic vinaigrette. I tried it, and success! I was very happy with the results, although I think DH preferred the tuna version. By the way, this photo is of my version of By the Bay’s potato knish- virtually identical to her recipe except this time I sauteed some pressed garlic with the onions, and I added some turmeric to the dough for color. I’ve also tried her potato knish recipe with portobello mushrooms added to the onion mixture. It is delicious, but I think I prefer the original recipe (with garlic). [...]

  12. [...] Being gluten-free on the road can be difficult, unless you happen to be traveling to some area like Portland, Oregon that has unexpected numbers of health food stores and gluten free bakeries. Luckily, some time ago I came across By the Bay’s brilliant solution to the self-contained meal: gluten free chebe knishes. She took a package of chebe and used the manioc based mix to create a brilliant, pliable dough that can be used for pastries, knish, perogies, and even calzones. The possibilities are endless. My favorite thing is how easy this dough is to roll out and handle- I never thought of pastry as a “weekday meal” option before I discovered Chebe as pastry, but now I don’t hesitate to make baked samosas, spinach tartlets and even calzones as a last minute meal solution. Cool, right? As you can tell, By the Bay’s recipes have really inspired me. But you know what’s better than being inspired by ONE By the Bay recipe? Being inspired by TWO of By the Bay’s recipes at the same time! As part of her un-cooking series, By the Bay featured a recipe for Balsamic Tuna Salad. Maybe I’ve become entirely too obsessed with these chebe meal packets, because as soon as I saw this unconventional tuna salad recipe, I thought that it would undoubtedly taste great baked into a knish! So, some time ago when DH and I planned a road trip to Sacramento and intended to start our trip in the evening, I baked up a big batch of knishes to take with us. Half of the recipe was filled with By the Bay’s potato knish filling, and the other half was filled with balsamic tuna salad! It was absolutely delicious, and very satisfying. The only thing about chebe knishes is that the day after you make them, they really need to be baked in the oven for 10 minutes or so to achieve crispiness, and they’re not very good microwaved. But, since we were chomping in the car relatively soon after I baked them, they were perfect little self contained meals. But, as you know, although I occasionally indulge in seafood, my meal focus is really vegetarian. As soon as I tasted the Balsamic knish, I immediately started thinking of how I could make a vegetarian version. The recipe below is actually my second attempt. The first time I used little white beans, and I was not at all happy with the results. Although usually home baked slow cooked beans are preferable to store bought, in this case the soft mushiness and the bland sweetness of the white beans couldn’t stand up to the vigor of the balsamic sauce. I started thinking about a veggie bean salad I make sometimes, inspired by a trip to Florida, and decided that, since kidney beans hold their own in that vegetable salad recipe with raspberry vinaigrette, they just might stand up to this kind of balsamic vinaigrette. I tried it, and success! I was very happy with the results, although I think DH preferred the tuna version. By the way, this photo is of my version of By the Bay’s potato knish- virtually identical to her recipe except this time I sauteed some pressed garlic with the onions, and I added some turmeric to the dough for color. I’ve also tried her potato knish recipe with portobello mushrooms added to the onion mixture. It is delicious, but I think I prefer the original recipe (with garlic). [...]

  13. I made poori (puffed indian bread) and naan with Chebe, and both turned out great.
    talking about Indian dishes, one can also have GF crepes south indian styel> it is called “injeri”??
    recipe:
    1 cup rice flour
    1 egg beaten
    1/2 cup coconut milk,
    1/4 tsp salt
    Mix all together, with a hand mixer.
    Adjust the thickness of the batter with water if need to get the right consistency for crepes.
    Fill the crepes with your choice filling( Shredded coconut and banana is my favorite)
    add coconut milk stirring constantly,to make the smooth batter thinner than pancake batter.
    Pour on heated non stick pan and spread quickly into thin crepe.

  14. Hi Takam Nair, Thanks for the tip! I’d love to hear how you made poori and naan with chebe! I’ve only heard of Ethiopian injeri(fermented flatbread made from teff flour) and South Indian dosa with the fermented rice and urad dal, but that coconut flour crepe sounds delicious. I’ll definitely try it! Thank you so much for sharing. :)

    -Sea

  15. [...] of you may remember my post for Aloo Masala Samosa where I took BytheBay’s Chebe dough pastry crust and filled it with the same potato filling [...]

  16. OMG. OH MY GOD. I cannot WAIT to try this recipe, thank you so much for posting it!!!

  17. I buy my Chebe mix in there no frills bulk size you get No-Frills Original Cheese Bread Mix, or Original or Pizza crust in bulk form. Two 10 pound bags per case.
    $79.95 per case
    That comes out to be less than 1.89 a box i usually pay 2.99 if i am lucky so this is a great way to go.

  18. Donna, Is that through the Chebe site? And do you pay shipping? Since I’m pregnant and may have to do another allergen-free diet after the baby is born, I don’t want to get bulk Chebe right now, but it is a great thought for the future and my readers. Thanks for the tip!

    -Sea

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