Many of us read food blogs every day and when we come across an interesting recipe or idea we bookmark for our ‘to-do’ list. Sometimes, we see something so delicious and intriguing that it bypasses bookmarking, all other activities halt, and we immediately begin making it. Such is the case with these Pirojki, a baked dough wrapped around a savory potato-meat mixture.
Just last week, Farida of Farida’s Azerbaijani Cookbook posted her recipe for this tasty treat. I couldn’t get them out of my mind and yesterday set to working making them. I didn’t imagine how irresistible they would turn out to be, but I warn you … it’s hard to eat just one.
Farida provides amazing photos, including step-by-step visuals of preparing the dough and forming the buns. The dough is easy to make and work with, very soft and pliable. Aside from the 1.5 hour rising time for the dough, the Pirojki come together quickly and bake off in 20-25 minutes.
You’ll find two filling selections from Farida, one with potato and onion, and another with meat and onion. I debated about the fillings, and seriously considered using a curried potato-pea filling (i.e. similar to a samosa filling). Since Joe isn’t a big Indian food fan, nor is he a fan of vegetarian items, I opted to go a different route. I decided to make a filling using both potatoes and meat, but without Indian spices. (yes, I was reading my Anjum Anand cookbook)
3 medium potatoes, boiled and drained
1 cup (about 6-8 oz.) minced meat of choice
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. crushed caraway seed
1/2-1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (coriander)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Heat pan with oil, then saute meat and onion until meat is cooked through and onions are translucent. Add caraway, salt, and pepper.
Lightly mash the potatoes. I used a red skinned potato and did not peel them. I like the added color and texture of the skins. Add meat mixture to potatoes and stir to combine. Stir in chopped cilantro. Adjust seasoning if needed.
The Pirojki turned out well — next time, I will do a better job with evenly brushing with egg yolk before baking, but otherwise they are perfect. The bread is tender yet firm while the filling is soft and savory. They make for a perfect snack, but would also work well for lunch or as an appetizer.