This recipe was inspired by my visit to Punjabi Junction, a social enterprise café in Edinburgh where a group of women gave me an insight into traditional Punjabi cooking.
Using a chapati dough instead of the usual pastry adds a wholesome note to these pasties, filled with Punjabi-style curried fish.
- 250 g strong wholemeal bread flour
- 5 g salt (about a scant teaspoon)
- 20 ml olive oil
- 160 ml water
- 6 cloves garlic, roasted with the skin on until soft
- 15 g fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 3-4 small green chillies, finely chopped with seeds kept in (or leave some or all of the seeds out, to taste)
- 400 g tin plum tomatoes
- 15 ml vegetable oil
- 2 tsp ajwain (carom) seeds (see Note)
- 350 g cod fillets, skinned (or substitute other not-too-delicate white fish)
- 215 g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time: 30 minutes
1. Preheat oven to 220°C / Gas 7.
2. Start by making the chapati dough. Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Add the oil then gradually add the water to form a dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5-10 minutes, until it is elastic and smooth. Place in an oiled bowl and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
3. To make the filling, squeeze the roasted garlic from the skins into a bowl. Add the ginger, salt, garam masala and chilli. Mix to combine. Add the tomatoes and stir. Gently mix in the cod portions, so they are coated in the mixture.
4. Heat the oil in a wide frying pan. When the oil is hot, add the ajwain seeds and cook until they are aromatic (don't burn or they may be bitter). Place the coated cod pieces into the pan, then pour over the tomato mixture. Once the sauce begins to boil reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Turn the cod and cook for a further 3 -4 minutes until the cod is just cooked.
5. Remove the cod from the pan and set aside. Cook the sauce until it has thickened. Add the chickpeas to the sauce and stir. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
6. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Roll each ball into a thin disc, about 18cm in diameter.
7. Take the cooled sauce and flake the cod into it.
8. Place spoonfuls of the filling into the centre of chapati discs. Brush the edges with water. Bring the edges of the dough together around the filling and crimp to seal.
9. Place on a baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes until the dough is crisp and golden-brown.
• Ajwain seeds are available from Indian food shops and spice shops. They have an intense caraway flavour. Substitute caraway seeds.