Jamaican Vegetarian Patties

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Bumblebee Cottage Jamaican Vegetarian Patties Recipe

Jamaican Vegetarian Patties

This recipe originates, technically, in Jamaica but has it’s roots firmly in Cornwall, and with another nod towards India. Ironically though, it was Grenada, not Jamaica, where I first discovered these.

These flatter, smaller Cornish Pasty style patties normally have a yellow seasoned pastry and like Cornish Pasties, can be eaten hot or cold (better hot!) They are lightly spiced with curry and in this recipe, we’ve used our Bumblebee Cottage Korma curry powder in both the filling, and the pastry. For best results, it’s also wise to make the pastry the day before and allow it to rest overnight in the fridge.

Because we don’t eat red meat here at the Cottage, we made these patties with leftovers, along with some tinned butter and kidney beans and some swede/turnip (again, much like the Cornish Pasty).

Preparation time
Cooking time

For the pastry:
Plain Flour
Curry Powder
Cold Water

For the filling:
Any leftovers inc chopped meat/veg/beans etc
Stock (chicken or vegetable)
Olive Oil
Bumblebee Cottage Curry Powder
Bumblebee Cottage Delhi Bole Sauce

This is a really simple ‘throw it all together’ dish. There are no rights or wrongs when it comes to the filling, or the seasoning…just chuck everything you have in a saute pan and season until you get the taste profile you favour.

Start by making the pastry, which is basically just a traditional short crust recipe but with added seasoning. We favour butter for our pastry but you can use lard if you prefer. Cut chunks of butter, about little finger nail size and add to a bowl of normal, plain flour. Every now and again use your fingers (or you can use a food processor) to rub the butter and flour together to make a sort of crumbly mixture. As a guide, we use about 1/3rd of a pack of unsalted butter to ours, but again, add as much or as little as you feel comfortable with. By using more, rather than less, the final product will be more buttery. To be honest, whilst we like our Cornish Pasties quite buttery, we’d probably suggest using slightly less of this ingredient for these patties.

Once the mixture has become quite crumbly and the butter has all been mixed in, add a tablespoon or so of Korma curry powder and maybe half a tablespoon of turmeric. We like the Korma powder for this recipe because it has ingredients that really lend themselves quite nicely to this dish. You’re not trying for an all out super-hot patty, or maybe you are, but more a subtle flavoured small snack, to be eaten with your hands.

Once the mixture is right, and the colour now more of a orange or yellow colour, slowly add some cold water. Add a little at a time, and less is really more here because you’ll need a lot less than you may think. Using your hands or your food processor again, scrunch the dough to form a ball. But unlike bread dough, don’t over-knead as it’ll spoil the pastry by over working the butter. Once you’ve formed a solid ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least a couple of hours, or preferably over night.

In a saute pan, now heat a little oil and fry off the onion, maybe some garlic and any ‘hard’ ingredients. We used swede in ours and this takes a while to break down, so add to start with. As ingredients start to soften (don’t allow it to turn to mush) you can add tinned beans (we like kidney and butter beans), and the curry powder, and then mix together.

To really soften the ingredients, you now need to add your stock and reduce it to you have a thicker sauce with softened ingredients. If any of the ingredients are taking time to cook or are bigger than 20mm or so in size, use a knife and a wooden spoon in the pan to halve the size of these pieces and they’ll cook quicker and the finished patty will be more aesthetically pleasing. At this stage, also shake a few drops, according to taste, of Bumblebee Cottage Delhi Bole sauce into the pan.

After resting your pastry, remove from the fridge and roll out on some cornmeal (flour) or semolina. You don’t have to do this but you’ll find it’ll give the patties a crispier finish and it won’t rise as much as a Cornish Pasty (which is ideal). You want your pastry to be quite thin.

Use a small plate, or saucer, to cut around when the pastry is the required thickness, and put your filling in the middle. Ideally, the filling will have cooled slightly else it’ll affect the pastry dexterity. Once a sensible amount of filling has been spooned in, pull the circle over to make a half moon shape, and then use a fork to seal the edges. If you want to show off, use an egg that’s been mixed together in a cup or jug and brush the eggwash around the edge before making the 2 sides touch, and then use it again to brush the whole outside of the patties after they are formed.

Once the patties are created and eggwashed, place on a baking tray in a preheated oven at around 180-200 degrees for 25 minutes or so (ovens differ so keep checking). Once browned, remove from the oven and allow to cool. If you remember those 1980’s pancakes from supermarkets that our parents used to cook, you’ll remember the almost nuclear strength of the molten filling. Trust us when we say you don’t want that!

This dish really is a ‘free for all’ recipe. Add what you have spare. If you prefer to use meat or chicken; do so (traditionally, this dish would use beef mince anyway).

The pastry really needs to be a yellow colour to be authentic and the turmeric and curry powder helps get this right.

Use cold water when making the pastry…the colder the better and only add a few drops at a time.

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