Fried to golden brown perfection, these stuffed potato pies are the perfect side or snack and are an iconic street food in the Caribbean. Though every culture has their own version of this dish (from empanadas to perogies) these pies are made of well-seasoned mashed potato sealed into a simple flour dough round and fried until golden brown and puffy. The best part is that this recipe is both clean eat as well as vegan and vegetarian friendly!
To make these potato stuffed pies we’ll need potatoes, salt, grated garlic, and roasted ground cumin (geera) for the filling. For the dough we’ll use whole wheat pastry flour, water, salt, baking powder, vital wheat gluten and light olive oil.
We’ll begin by setting the (sliced and peeled) potatoes to boil while we make the dough. To the flour we’ll add the baking powder, salt and vital wheat gluten and mix it together so all ingredients are evenly dispersed.
Next, we’ll make a well in the middle of the flour and we’ll add in the oil and water.
Using your hands, mix the flour and water together until a dough forms. When the dough comes together, remove it from the bowl and knead it on a clean counter surface for 5-6 minutes (this activates the vital wheat gluten and helps gluten strands to form, which when using whole wheat flour is necessary or else the flour will tear and won’t stretch which makes it difficult to handle and work with) until a smooth dough forms. Typically when I make this, I do not need to flour the surface that I knead the dough on. As the dough is worked it forms together and becomes smooth and elastic the more it is worked.
The end result should be a smooth and easy to work with ball of dough that doesn’t stick to your hands. Set it onto a plate…
…And score it into eight sections. Cut and separate each section and roll it into eight evenly sized balls
Place each portion of dough back onto the plate and set it aside to rest while we prepare the potato mixture.
Once the potatoes are boiled and cooked through, drain and add the salt, garlic, and roasted cumin to the potatoes. You can also add any other spices of your choosing from cayenne pepper to culantro. Season the potato to your liking.
Using a fork or potato masher, mash the potato until no lumps remain.
Divide the potato mixture into eight equal portions and roll into balls (this just makes it easier to handle when we go to fill the dough rounds).
So now that we have eight dough rounds and eight potato balls, it’s time to form our potato pies and fry them.
You can roll out the dough into a six inch round using a rolling pin or if you have one, a tortilla press is fantastic for this. Simply place a dough ball between two pieces of parchment paper and press between the plates of the tortilla press. Add one portion of the potato to half of the flattened dough round and fold the top half over. Pinch the seam shut with your fingers, creating a lip of about 1/4 inch, and (optional) fold the edges over by twisting small segments and pressing each twist into the inner edge (see pic below for an example).
Simply twist, tuck, and press each segment in to create the edges of the pie. An alternative is to use a fork to simply crimp the edges of the pie and seal each dough round completely. Whichever option you opt for works well as the aim is to prevent the potato filling from leaking out.
Fill and seal all rounds of dough.
Add about an inch of oil to a saute-pan or frying pan. Once the oil is hot (but not smoking) add the pies, working in small batches. Do not overcrowd the pan or allow the pies to touch. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until each side is golden brown. Once browned, carefully flip the pie and fry the other side until golden brown. Once both sides are fried, remove the pies and set them onto a plate lined with paper towels to drain off any excess oil.
The end result should be a perfectly golden brown pie with a nice crisp and crunchy outside…
…And a soft and well-seasoned potato filling on the inside.
Though these pies stand up well to being eaten by themselves, you can serve them with any condiment of your choosing from a simple ketchup, to a tamarind chutney or mango chutney or even a cilantro/garlic/lime sauce (shown above).
Potato Stuffed Samosas (Trinidadian Aloo Pies)
- 2 medium potatoes (russet)
- 2 cloves fresh garlic (finely grated)
- 1 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1/2 tsp ground roasted cumin (also known as ground roasted geera)
- Wash, peel, slice and set the potatoes to boil in a pot of water.
- In a bowl add the flour, baking powder, salt, and vital wheat gluten. Mix thoroughly to incorporate all of the dry ingredients together.
- Add the water and oil to the flour and, using your fingers, work into a dough and turn out onto a clean surface and knead for 5-6 minutes until a smooth and elastic dough forms.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and roll each portion into a ball. Set aside to rest.
- Add the boiled potatoes to a bowl along with the garlic, salt and ground roasted cumin. Mash with a fork or potato masher until there are no lumps. Divide the potato mixture into eight even portions.
- Press or roll each ball of dough out into a 6" round and place the potato onto one half of the flattened dough, being sure to leave at least a half inch edge. Fold the other half of the round over and pinch the edges closed. Fold, twist or crimp the edges to seal the potato pie.
- Add about and inch of oil to a frying pan and once the oil is hot, but not smoking, gently place the prepared potato pie into the oil and fry until the underside is golden brown before flipping and browning the other side.
- Remove the golden brown pies from the oil and set onto paper towels to drain off any excess oil.
- Serve immediately by itself or with any condiment of your choice.
- In terms of condiments you can serve these pies with anything from chutneys to ketchup or a cilantro/lemon/garlic sauce.
- To make the cilantro/lemon/garlic sauce, blend together fresh cilantro, a couple cloves of garlic, a couple tbsp of lemon juice, oil and salt until a smooth thick sauce is formed. This sauce is great for marinades and is very potent so a little goes a long way. You can also used culantro if preferred.