Oh yes, these babies are just for you! In fact, they’re for anyone with a spicy tooth. They’re filling, tasty, umami … and not that bad for you! Maybe they’re damned with faint praise here, but that’s too bad, because it’s true. Instead of pasties, with their obligatory half-fat pastry, with more calories in the pasty shell than the filling, these are breadies! A simple, quick homemade tortilla, and a tasty filling (and of course, you can put any filling in there! Think ‘ham ‘n’ cheese sauce’, or ‘cauliflower cheese’, or ‘tomato, black olive, basil and mozzarella’. Damn. That’s got me thinking.
Back to the job in hand, however. Ladies and gents, I give you …
Chicken Curry Breadies
Optional: First marinate about 6 skinless boneless chicken thighs in plain yoghurt mixed with 2-3 tablespoons of Madras curry paste. Your favourite will do! Leave them covered in the fridge, for an hour or so. If you didn’t think of it in time, just coat the chicken in the spicy yoghurt mixture before baking.
Lay chicken, still covered in marinade, in a baking dish and bake for about 20-30 minutes on 200*C / 400*F. Poke them in the thickest part with something sharp. If they bleed, even a bit pink, cook ’em for a few more minutes. I didn’t; mine were pinker than I realised, but they cooked in the curry anyway, and I didn’t die.
Chop up the chicken when it’s cooked through, and put to one side.
Dice up however many onions you feel like. I guess 1-2 medium onions, or 4 small onions (they’re pretty small at this time of year).
Dice two medium-sized potatoes into 1 cm or slightly smaller cubes.
Saute the onions gently for ages, maybe 20 minutes if that’s what it takes. No burning them, just keep going until they turn yellowish-green and transluscent. (Clearly I use EVOO, but they’ll go a similar colour to the oil you use).
Grate or crush at least one garlic clove into the mix. I err on the many. Dump at least a couple of tablespoons of Madras curry paste into the pan quite quickly after the garlic, stir fast, and add the potatoes and the chicken. Keep stirring, and add just enough water to almost cover the potatoes. Salt it! Have a guess; a few pinches should do it. Get the stew on a swiftish simmer, and keep stirring to ensure that the potatoes don’t stick to the bottom. The water will largely evaporate, and the potatoes cook quicker than you’d expect, given the lack of water.
You’ll end up with a fairly stodgy curry. Just add a few handfuls of frozen peas towards the end of the cooking. Put the whole lot on one side for now.
Put the oven on.
Tortillas come next
Beat an egg in a little bowl and get your pastry brush ready.
Take 200 g self raising flour, 2 tsps salt, 5ml EVOOil and add 120 ml boiling water, while stirring frenetically with a dinner knife. Scrape it all together, and knead the resulting dough on a floury surface. When it feels a little more pliable, break a piece off, shape it into a round, and roll it to about 3-5 mm thickness. It depends on the size of the breadies that you want, but around a hen’s egg size is pretty good.
Spoon some curry mixture into the centre. The trick is not to put too much in there, but I am hopeless at that. Paint egg round the edges, generously, and press it down so that it’s shaped like a calzone pizza, in a half moon shape. Seal the sides by turning up the edges and squidging them down, like a pasty. Paint with egg wash. Repeat.
Lay them on a baking tray (I made two batches of 6 out of the curry mixture) and place in the oven for about 20-30 minutes. The bread has to be cooked, that’s the most important thing. Nothing worse than the taste of uncooked flour.
These are better than a pasty, because they are low in fat, and they’re also physically more resilient.
You can bash them about a bit and they look just the same. They travel really well. I ate loads and had to give them away for my own good.