Looking for iftar appetisers? Here's how to make delicious box patties

Bon appétit!


Muhammad Yousuf Bawany June 15, 2016
Bon appétit! PHOTO: MUHAMMAD YOUSUF BAWANY

Ramazan is finally upon us, and with it, the culinary experiences we associate with this holy month. Activity in and around the kitchen increases significantly, owing to the maddening aromas emanating from the kitchen right around iftar. Family members who usually don’t even bother with the food prep, start hovering around to see what’s on the menu.

I belong to a family of food-lovers. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of my mother planning her iftar menu weeks before Ramazan. I still remember how she wrote everything on a wall calendar; everything from appetizers to desserts. She made rainbow-colored jelly eggs and lip-smacking kukray (D-shaped samosas with mung daal and minced meat filling). Watching her make those things was the highlight of my day and I have only her to thank for my culinary passion.

How to make mouth-watering 'pizza pasta'

The Ramazan dastarkhwan is empty without a selection of appetisers. I know of some families who absolutely need to have samosas and pakoras at iftar, whereas others try different things. Luckily, I belong to the latter group. For me, an appetiser is the most important course, as it is the first thing you attack after breaking the fast. Appetisers can make or break your entire dining experience.

The first appetisers I will share are box patties. These perfect squares, created using samosa strips, are filled with a savory shredded chicken mixture that instantly satiates your spice cravings.

PHOTO: MUHAMMAD YOUSUF BAWANY

Prep time: 35 minutes for the filling and the box patties + 4 minutes for frying (per batch)

Yields: 18-20 patties

Serving size: 2 patties per person

Ingredients

250 grams chicken breast

1 tablespoon ginger paste

1 tablespoon garlic paste

1 tablespoon green chili paste

1 tsp salt (for chicken)

1/4 cup water

1 medium potato (boiled and diced)

1 medium green bell pepper (capsicum – diced)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoon all-purpose flour (stirred in with 1 tablespoon water – for filling)

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt (for filling)

1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes

1/4 cup all-purpose flour (for paste)

1 cup water

40-50 samosa pastry strips

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Method

Add chicken, ginger paste, garlic paste, green chili paste, salt (for chicken) and water to a pot and cook till the chicken is tender and the water has dried up

Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it and keep it aside

Heat butter in a pan and add the green bell peppers to it; stir-fry for 1 minute

Add soy sauce, salt (for filling), black pepper and red chili flakes to the capsicum and stir for a minute

Add potatoes and the shredded chicken and mix it well

Finally, add the flour and water mixture to the chicken; mix it immediately to prevent the flour from making the filling too sticky

Cook for a minute before turning the stove off

In a bowl, mix the flour (for paste) in water; microwave for 40-50 seconds to get a thick glue-like consistency

Fold the box patties as instructed in the video.

Deep fry in hot oil till the patties are crisp and golden-brown

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy!

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Here's a video for added help:


Note: Ramazan is an ideal time to get in touch with your spiritual self, but sometimes, we get too fixated on food and what to make for iftar. I prefer making these appetizers in a larger batch and freezing them; they can be used for up to 15 days. This will give you plenty of time to reflect on yourself and significantly lessen your kitchen workload.

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