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Patey - Filled puff pastry parcels

It's finally up...only months after I said I would do this. I could blame COVID but it is really because I took a much-needed break from work and responsibilities, cooking included. We're back for the fall season; there is some exciting stuff coming so be sure to follow along on social media and subscribe :)

Anyway, patey is a quintessential part of Mauritian cuisine and normally acts the part of an appetizer or a tea-time snack. It is a puff pastry normally filled with keema (spiced minced meat) but the filling can vary. At home we normally do beef keema, but I have also used chicken keema or made it vegetarian (see below).

My recommendation would be to make whatever filling you like and keep a batch of it in the freezer. Anytime you have a craving, roll out some puff pastry and quickly fill some parcels with the pre-made filling. Alternatively, you could do the batch-cooking approach and make a whole bunch of filled patey's and bake some and freeze the others (freeze flat on a tray till frozen, then put them in ziploc bags). When I want to add an appetizer to a meal, I pull out a bag of frozen patey's and pop them on a baking tray. Thirty minutes later, piping hot pastries are ready.

I have already posted the minced meat filling for patey here, so I'm sharing a vegetarian version below. If you'd like to use meat, the instructions are exactly the same; just substitute in the meat filling at the indicated stage.

NB: pronunciation guide: paat-eyyyy.



1 roll of store-bought puff pastry

Vegetarian filling

3 small potatoes

1 large white onion

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 inch (3cm) ginger

3 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon ground coriander 

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper 

1/2 cup frozen peas

First, take the pastry out of the freezer and let it get to room temperature on the counter. While that is happening, make the filling (here for meat filling). For a vegetarian filling, peel and chop up the potatoes into small cubes. Finely chop the onion as well.

In a non-stick frying pan, heat up about a tablespoon of vegetable oil on medium heat. Add the potatoes and fry for about 5-7 minutes. Then add the onions. While the onions soften, mince up 3-4 garlic cloves and small thumb's length of ginger. Add them to the pan as well.

Time for some spices: stir in 1 teaspoon of ground coriander, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Of course, since cooking is not an exact science, taste for seasoning. This is a good time to check how the potatoes are coming along.

When the potatoes are fully cooked, add in 1/2 a cup of frozen peas and heat everything through. Then take the filling off the heat and let it cook down completely.

Vegetarian and meat fillings

When the pastry is at room temperature, flatten it out and roll it with a generous dusting of flour. You want it to be fairly thin, about 1/8 inch (4mm) thick. Now, preheat the oven to 360F (180C).

Using a teaspoon, spoon out your chosen filling onto the pastry sheet. Cut each pastry into a rectangle shape so there is space to fold the pastry over and create a little case.

Use water to wet the edges of the pastry and fold over. Crimp down the sides so the filling doesn't pop out while baking.

Bake for 30 minutes and serve hot as an appetizer or at tea-time.

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