Egg Puffs, as these puff pastry purses nestling a hardboiled egg are popularly known in Hyderabad, are widely available in every ‘bakery store’. Bakery stores are common in cities big and small back home, where baking is not an everyday activity. Its uncommon having ovens in homes. Sure, Tandoors (Indian clay ovens which are typically outdoors) are seen here and there, but mostly they are restricted to restaurants and communal cooking in Northern India. Plus, Tandoor is not conducive to make cakes or other baked goods other than Naans (flat bread). So needless to say, most of the baked treats are store bought. Even most stores are not equipped with a full-fledged kitchen or oven. All baked items are sourced from a central location. So wherever you buy them the city, they taste the same. They sell out like hot cakes (no pun intended)…hence them sitting there and getting stale is out of question….also known as safe-to-eat without worrying about tummy upsets!!
Puffs come in many varieties–egg puffs, chicken puffs, mutton puffs or vegetarian (curry) puffs. Typically the shape indicated what was in the puff. I guess this evolved to avoid confusion between vegetarian and non-vegetarian, lest a chicken puff lands on a vegetarian’s table. It could be tantamount to sacrilege! Curry puffs were rectangular, chicken puffs were square, and mutton puffs were round. Egg puffs came in a unique shape with the corners of a rectangle folded over and a glorious baked egg peeking through.
Making egg puffs cannot be simpler than boiling eggs and baking. Of course, if you use store bought puff pastry. In fact, I personally attest this is the simplest baked appetizer e.v.e.r. Although I call it appetizer, it is more common as a tea-time snack at home. Nostalgic!
I slightly complicated this (I had to, it’s my obsessive compulsion to mess with everything) by adding caramelized onions tossed in a pinch of garam masala for some zing. It certainly is a pleasant surprise to anyone who ate plain puffs before. Sometimes I just add a pinch of chat masala to deliver the same surprise but with lesser effort. Either way you do it, it will be a hit. I guarantee.
What you need (makes 12 puffs):
3 hardboiled eggs, quartered lengthwise
1 Puff pastry sheet (store bought ones come folded thrice, just unfold and cut along the fold. Then cut each fold into 4 equal pieces)
1 cup caramelized onions with garam masala
Variations: Instead of caramelized onions you can use a pinch of Chaat Masala or some salt & ground black pepper (or red chili flakes).
How to make it:
- In each rectangular puff pastry piece, along the diagonal add a teaspoonful of caramelized onions and put the egg quarter on it and close the opposite ends with a dab of water. Arrange them on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (non-stick preferably).
- Bake in 380 F oven for 20 minutes, until puff pastry turns golden brown. Serve with hot chai.