There is something mysterious about stuffed goods. At a glance, they look plain and perhaps even boring to an extent. But bite into it and the palate discovers a whole new experience. It is not plain and boring anymore…
A couple of days ago, I was stuffing around quite a bit… preparing the crusts(the yeasty ones) and lovingly filling them up…and of course, biting into them to reach the surprises within, and also experiencing the joy that fills the heart as the smiles lit up the faces of those around you, for you know that they too have loved the surprise inside the plain looking crusts. The following veggie crescents are a result of those moments of yeasty, stuffing obsession.
They consisted of a soft crust with a little bite to it, and filled with an assortment of lightly spiced vegetables, paneer and cheese. And yes, we did love digging into the crust to reach the cheesy filling within.
We had them with a light lentil soup for a compete meal(not pictured), but they can also be enjoyed on their own. Here’s how I made them…
For the crust-
3 C wholewheat flour
1 C warm milk
3 tsp instant dried yeast
1 tsp salt
3 tblsp yogurt
For the filling-
1 large carrot, grated
1 large onion, finely chopped
a handful of spinach,chopped
1 small bunch of coriander, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
a handful of raisins
1 tsp each of garam masala and cumin powder
1 C of paneer, crumbled
200gms of cheddar or red Leicester cheese(I used the latter)
1 tblsp of olive oil
Salt to taste
a little semolina or coarse cornmeal to roll the balls of dough
a little melted butter to brush the tops
- Mix the yeast and sugar into the milk and leave in a warm place for about 10 minutes or till frothy.
- In a bowl, mix together the flour and salt.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour the yeast mixture and yogurt.
- Mix everything together and knead to form a smooth and elastic dough. If you find the dough too sticky, add a little flour, but refrain from the temptation of adding too much.
- Grease the bottom and sides of a large bowl and place the dough in it, rolling it over to grease the dough.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it to rise in a warm place for an hour or till doubled in size.
- While the dough rises, prepare the filling, and for that heat the tblsp of oil in a pan.
- Add the onions and garlic and fry till the former is translucent.
- Add the carrots, spinach, coriander,raisins, salt and garam masala and cumin powders and stir fry for 4-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, mix in the paneer and leave aside to cool.
- Punch down the dough and divide into 10 equal portions, shaping each into a ball.
- Roll the balls in the semolina /cornmeal to coat them and then roll them out into 5 and1/2 -6 inch diameter discs.
- Place a little cheese on one half of the disc, leaving a space of a cm from the edges.
- Place tblsps of the filling on the cheese and top with a little more of the cheese.
- Bring the other half of the disc to cover the filling to form a crescent shape.
- Pinch the edges to seal. Crimp the edges with a fork or flute it to seal them completely and to avoid any filling oozing out during baking.
- Place them on a lined baking tray, a little apart from each other and leave them in a warm place for a second rise for about 40-45 minutes.
- Pre heat the oven at 250 deg C.
- Place the tray at the top rack of the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or till nicely browned.
- Remove from the oven and brush the tops with a little melted butter.
- Serve hot and if keeping for later, cool on a rack and reheat before serving.
Now what! Dig into them..but just a note of caution…be careful if you’re having them straight out of the oven, for the filling will be very hot..we don’t want to burn the tongue and deprive it of enjoying the taste The crust was soft, with a little bite added by the semolina/cornmeal and the warm filling oozing with cheese and the mildly spiced vegetables. They were really filling as well.
Do not be daunted by the length of the recipe, for there is actually very little hands on effort involved. This is a very versatile recipe and provides lots of room to play around with it, especially the filling…another great way to utilise those bits of this and that vegetables begging to be used