When I first came to this country, I was so homesick……I missed my parents, family , friends and all that. Along with all , I missed was the food, especially all the snacks that are available in most stores in India !!! This is me we are talking about !!! My life revolves around food…..at least my brain thinks about it all the time, even if I dont talk about it all the time !!! Back to the topic at hand, I cannot walk to the store down the street and get puffs, pastries, sandwiches, vadas and all that here . Most of the stuff I could find at the Indian restaurants but what stumped me the first few years was the lack of veggie puffs. They were a staple during my college years. They were cheap !! It was not a life threatening situation ….actually it was good since I gain weight just by looking at those calorie laden but heavenly snacks…….why are delicious snacks unhealthy ????
That was when I discovered puff pastry sheets and began making them myself. I never made full size ones…..bite size appetizers were more to my liking. Lately though, I find myself with no time to make them , they are labour intensive !!!! So I have come up with an alternative……. PUFF PASTRY PINWHEELS. Its not a typical puff as it has a couple of surprise ingredients . They are hot,spicy, buttery and flaky.They are so delicious and you cannot stop after popping one in your mouth !!! My friends love them and I get requests to make them again and again. The recipe uses a full box of pastry sheets but when its only V and myself I use only one sheet and even then we have left overs.
After making these a couple of times, I experimented with so many fillings….now I make them with whatever is at hand !!!! I even alternate the spread, sometimes I use pungent and hot green chilli chutney or sometimes I use Hot & Sweet sauce…..I call it Indian Ketchup….lets face it, to the world any Indian dish is hot !!! I prefer hot & sweet as its both spicy and sweet !! I also prefer using paneer in the filling though feta comes a close second. Use your imagination ……..spinach, potato, plain jack or jalapeno jack are all fillings I have used and they all taste delicious !!!
Now if you do not have access to either chutney or hot and sweet , do not fret ! Just use tomato ketchup kicked up with sriracha or the sweet chilli sauce available in all grocery stores.Do Not roll the puff pastry sheets with a heavy hand , be very gentle. Also refrigerating them after rolling is a must for a flaky pastry. It solidifies the butter so that when you put the cold pastry in a hot oven, magic happens and you get flaky puffs !!! These are just my combinations, play around and find your favourite.
Puff Pastry Pinwheels
2 Puff Pastry sheets
1 ½ cups shredded Paneer
½ cup Red Onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp Ginger, finely chopped
2 Green Chillies, chopped finely
2-4 tbsp Mint, finely chopped
½ cup shredded Jalapeño Jack cheese
1 tsp Chaat Masala
Salt to taste
2-4 tbsp Hot & Sweet sauce
Mix together the paneer with the onions, ginger, green chillies, mint, chaat masala and salt.
Using a little bench flour , lightly roll out the cold puff pastry sheets .
Using a pastry brush , brush on as much Hot & Sweet sauce as you require. Leave a ½ inch border on the sides.
Spread the cheese , followed by the paneer mixture, leaving the same border on all sides.
Now gently roll the puff pastry sheet until you have a swiss roll. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Slice the cold puff pastry log into ½ inch slices and place on a parchment lined or greased baking sheet.
Bake until the pinwheels are golden brown.