Hard boiled egg and a little spiced onions encased in a crisp golden puff pastry – that is the south Indian Egg Puff. Just one is enough to quench the mid afternoon hunger pangs. Not surprisingly this is a hot selling bakery item. The bakeries near schools and offices have these delivered fresh just in time for you to take a break. Now if you are not there in time – well the lose is yours !
Puff pastry sheets are easy to come by in my neck of the woods most of the time. The Mediterranean and Asian stores stock these in all kinds of shapes of and sizes. But this was not the case in India. Few years back in Bangalore I could not find them in the local super markets. The only stores that I found these at were the high end grocery stores. The ones that were available sported ridiculous price tags. They were expensive , because they were “imported”.
Am I the only one baffled here? Egg puffs sell around 10 to 15 Rs a piece, but a box of pastry sheets that might make a dozen or so puffs costs close to Rs.1000! Do they even realize what these are made of ? Just a few ingredients – flour butter may be a sprinkling of water – that is all it takes. Why go half way around the world to get these? So if you find yourself a similar situation here is my quick puff pastry recipe . The layers are not as distinct as the traditional puff pastry, but it is flaky and makes a decent puff pastry.
Puff pastry with different fillings are available in the stores year round. Minor difference in the shapes help you decide what the filling is – usually the rectangular ones are the veg filled ones, the triangles will be filled with meat and the squares will be eggs. But don’t take my word for it, there are regional variations. So when in doubt ask the baker. To top it all there are other new comers to the party – curried paneer or paneer tikka puffs have become quite popular.
For a long time I thought that only people of Kerala who were crazy about these – Kerala Style Egg Puffs. But since then I have discovered that egg puffs have a fan following all over the south. No wonder too – egg is a cheap and easy source of protein and many other vital nutrients. It also happens to fall into that grey area between vegetarians and non vegetarians :-). Often times consuming eggs is considered to be a pardonable offense against vegetarian dietary rules.
Coming back to the egg puffs – the recipe is quite simple. Put everything in a puff pastry sheet and bake.
Doesn’t that look simple enough ? Make a spiced onion mix , cut the pastry sheets into about 4″ squares . Place some onion mix and half an egg in the center of the puff pastry square, pinch it close . Brush with a little egg wash and bake !!!
There is no hard and fast rule about half an egg. You could quarter the eggs and make tiny puffs similar to my 2 bite curried chicken puffs . I have also had egg puffs made with whole eggs. To me the half an egg version was just right – guess mainly because one of these was what all that I needed with my evening cup of tea !
Here is the recipe in detail . If you make this, or if you have had these in a different flavors I would love to hear from you.
- 4 Eggs Hard Boiled
- Puff Pastry Sheet - Eight 5"squares or equivalent thawed
- 1 Onion Medium
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 1/2 Inch Fresh Ginger
- 1/2 Tsp Garam Masala
- 1/2 Tsp Mild Chili Powder To Taste (See Notes)
- 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper Ground
- 1 Pinch Turmeric
- 2 Tbsp Oil
- A Few Curry Leaves Optional
- Salt - To taste
For Egg Wash
- 1 Egg
- 1 Tsp Water
- Slice the onions fine. Mince the ginger and garlic.
- Heat oil in a pan and add the curry leaves and sliced onions. Keep the heat at medium and stir fry for a few minutes until the onions soften a little. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and add the minced ginger and garlic. Cook stirring occasionally till the onions become translucent.
- Add the chili powder, black pepper powder, garam masala and turmeric. Fry for a few minutes until the oil begins to separate from the mix. Keep the heat at low, taste and adjust salt and spices if needed. Turn off the heat and cool .
- Pre-heat the oven to 400°F or 210°C.
- Break an egg into a small bowl and beat with 1 tsp of water to make the egg wash. Set aside.
- Shell and halve the eggs.
- Cut the Puff pastry sheets into 4 " to 5 " squares. Divide the onion mix into 8 portions. Place half of one portion of onion mix in the middle of the pastry square. Place half the egg on top of the egg mixture followed by the remaining portion of onion mix. . Bring all four corners of the pastry on top of the filling. Overlap each end slightly over the other sealing with egg wash or water. . Repeat with the remaining pieces.
- Transfer the egg puffs onto a baking sheet.
- Lightly brush the tops of the puffs with the egg wash
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown on top .
- Remove from the oven and serve warm.
- If the pastry sheets are small pinch the corners tightly together on top.
- Black pepper is used for spice while the red chili powder is used for color.Hence usually the sweeter versions like Kashmiri chili powder or paprika are used.
Here is my go to method of hard boiled eggs. Arrange the eggs in a pan, pour enough water to immerse the eggs by an inch. Bring to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat and keep covered for 15 minutes. Drain the water and fill the pot with cold water. Let it cool and shell the eggs.
If you have more pastry sheets left over – try these sweet recipes as well