For many of us Ramadan seems to be the perfect excuse to
indulge in guilty pleasures such as deep fried samosas, pakoras and spring
rolls. At iftar time we try to convince ourselves that after a long day of
fasting, some oily snacks are not going to hurt. However, it’s a fact
that many people end up gaining rather than losing weight during this
month, not to mention the havoc that greasy foods play on our digestive system.
and find healthier alternatives to traditional deep fried iftar
snacks. As an alternative to fried beef / mutton samosas, we experimented with
various kinds of dough and fillings to come up with buns / pies which
could be baked. These triangular pies were the result of one such
successful experiment by my sister in law. This year I asked her for the recipe
to make them myself. She has also baked them successfully with whole wheat
bread flour which makes them even healthier.
12 Hand Pies
- Boneless chicken, small cubes – 250 grams
- Bell pepper – 1/2
- Small Onion – 1
- Ginger paste – 1 teaspoon
- Garlic paste – 1 teaspoon
- Tandoori Chicken / Chicken Tikka Masala – 1 teaspoon
- Yogurt – 2 tablespoons
- Red Chilly Powder – according to taste
- Salt – according to taste
- Cooking Oil – 3-4 tablespoons
- All-purpose flour – 1 1/2 cups
- Baking Powder – 1/4 teaspoon
- Instant Yeast – 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt – 1 teaspoon
- Olive oil / Any Vegetable Oil – 3 tablespoons
- Milk – 1 /4 cup
- Water – 1/4 cup (might need more)
- Egg yolk -1
- Water – 1 teaspoon
- Heat oil and lightly saute the chopped bell pepper. Take
it out and keep aside.
- In the same oil fry the finally chopped onion until
it turns translucent.
- Add the ginger and garlic pastes and saute for a few
- Add chicken, spices and saute on medium heat till almost
all the water dries up.
- Beat the yogurt lightly and add it to the chicken. Cover
and cook on low heat till chicken is done.
- Add the fried bell pepper and cook on high heat until
the mixture is almost dry. Cool to room temperature.
- Shred the chicken roughly. I find it less messy to use a
flat wooden spoon instead of my hands to do this.
- Whisk or sift together the dry ingredients (flour,
baking powder, yeast and salt). You can also use the paddle attachment of your
stand mixer to mix the dry ingredients.
- Add oil and mix with your fingertips or with the dough
hook of your stand mixer.
- Mix the milk and water and heat till the mixture is
tolerably hot (120 – 130 degrees F), not boiling so as not to kill the
- Make a soft and supple dough by combining the flour
mixture with the liquid. Add more hot water, if required. Knead well for a
- Immediately after kneading the dough divide it into 9
- Roll out each ball to a circle about 6 inches in
diameter (approximately the size of a saucer).
- Stack up 3 circles on top of each other by applying
a bit of oil between each layer. Thus, you will get 3 stacks from 9
- Roll out each stack to a circle about 10 inches in
diameter (approximately the size of a dinner plate).
- Cut each circle in 4 equal parts.
- Place a tablespoon of the chicken filling in the center
of each part.
- Bring the two rounded sides of each part over the
chicken filling and seal by applying some water with your fingertips.
- Bring the third part over the two folded parts to make a
triangle. Seal by applying some water and pinching the edges.
- Repeat the process with the other circles to get 12 pies
(4 from each circle).
- Lay the pies on a foil lined baking tray covered and
let them rise for half an hour.
- Make egg wash by lightly whisking together 1 egg
yolk with 1 teaspoon water. Brush this on the pies and bake them in a
preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown.
- After taking them out from the oven brush the pies with
some butter and cover with a cloth for a few minutes to soften them.
- For Ramadan I find it very convenient to freeze some
baked pies. They can be thawed in the refrigerator overnight and then warmed in
microwave or oven.
- Alternately, you can freeze just the chicken filling and
fill into freshly prepared dough at iftar time.
- For a healthier snack make these pies with whole wheat
- If you prefer a lighter golden color brush with a whole
beaten egg mixed with a teaspoon of water instead of egg yolk and water.