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A Truly International Turnover

Posted By yum On February 19, 2007 @ 3:04 pm In Chebe, Dairy Free, Indian | 18 Comments

Large Samosa [1]As many of you know, some time ago I came across By the Bay’s Potato knish recipe [2] 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. [3] 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) [4] 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 [5])

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?

[6]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
Main Course [7]  Potatoes [8]  Indian [9]  
Small Samosa
Small Samosa
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

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.
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
Main Course [7]  Potatoes [8]  Indian [9]  
Yummy Masala Goodness
Yummy Masala Goodness
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)
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.
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 [10] half of a Samosa [11] Another Samosa [12]

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URL to article: http://www.bookofyum.com/blog/a-truly-international-turnover-50.html

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/02/samosa1.jpg

[2] By the Bay’s Potato knish recipe: http://glutenfreebay.blogspot.com/2006/11/gluten-free-knishes-mission.html

[3] check them out.: http://www.bookofyum.com/blogwww.chebe.com

[4] cassava(tapioca starch): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassava

[5] Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C3%A3o_de_Queijo

[6] Image: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004RDFW?ie=UTF8&tag=boofyu-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00004RDFW

[7] Main Course: http://www.bookofyum.com/recipes_v2/listrecipes.php#Main Course

[8] Potatoes: http://www.bookofyum.com/recipes_v2/listrecipes.php#Potatoes

[9] Indian: http://www.bookofyum.com/recipes_v2/listrecipes.php#Indian

[10] Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/02/minisamosa.jpg

[11] Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/02/samosaopen.jpg

[12] Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/02/samosa2.jpg

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