Thursday, 18 August 2011

Mince Plait

This is another one of Mrs. Sihota's recipe which has been a hot favorite with everyone at home. This recipe requires shortcrust pastry which sometimes can get a little tricky while handling.I always faced this problem that whenever I used to roll out the pastry it used to break in between. Then I started adding a tablespoon of oil to the original recipe.This always helped to make the pastry dough more pliable and easy to roll. Also watching the popular Nigella Lawson and Rachel Allen's cooking shows, I learnt that it was easier to roll out the dough if kept between two sheets of cling film or any other polythene sheet. Try it! Doing this also makes  it much simpler to pick up the rolled out pastry and placing it in the baking dish. just remember to peel off the cling sheet before baking.Also remember to roll the pastry only in one direction.Another important thing to remember is to keep all the ingredients as cold as possible. These are just small tips which can help you turn out a good pastry.

250 gms flour
125-150 gms butter
a pinch of salt
1 Tbsp oil
cold water to mix.

700 gms minced meat ,(cooked with 5 tbsp tomato puree,garlic and  salt)
S& P to taste
3 slices bread crumbled
1" piece ginger, grated
2 green chillies, chopped                                                                  
1/2 onion, chopped                                                                      
juice of 1 lemon
2-3 raw eggs

1 egg, poppy seeds, nigella seeds


  1. Rub the butter into the flour till it resembles coarse breadcrumbs,then using your hands,add enough cold water to bind it together.Knead lightly.
  2. With your hands flatten out the ball of dough until it is about 2cms thick,then wrap it in a cling film and leave it to rest in the fridge for atleast 30 minutes or, if you are hard pressed for time, in the freezer for 10-15  minutes before using.
  3. Alternately,you can also process the flour and butter in a food processor and process briefly.Add just enough cold water for the mixture to come together.
  4. Mix all the filling ingredients. check for seasoning.
  5. On a floured surface, roll out the shortcrust pastry  into a rectangle 25 cms X 40cms.( It doesn't have to be exact. I always roll out my pastry and then straighten out the edges  with a knife.) 
  6. Place on a baking tray.
  7. Mark into 3 sections lengthwise and spoon the meat mixture in the center
  8. Cut the pastry down each side of the meat into diagonal strips, 1 cm apart.
  9. Pick one strip  alternately  from the left and right side of the rectangle crossing them over the meat. Continue folding  the pastry strips to give a plaited effect.
  10. Brush all over with a beaten egg. Sprinkle poppy seeds or nigella seeds.
  11. Chill for 15 minutes.
  12. Bake in a preheated oven, at 200 degrees for 40 -45 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.
  13. Serve hot or cold.

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