There are lots of variations on these savoury Mexican pastries, which are similar to Cornish pasties. The filling here is a blend of lean chicken and vegetables, subtly flavoured with spices, nuts and dried fruit.
3/4 cup warm water
250 g wholemeal bread mix
1 small egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Spicy chicken filling
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 green or red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
250 g minced chicken
300 g potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm dice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 tablespoons dry sherry or white wine
1 large carrot, coarsely grated
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup blanched almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
pepper to taste
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To make the filling, heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion, garlic and chilli over medium-high heat for 2–3 minutes, stirring, until softened and lightly browned. Add the minced chicken and stir for a further 4–5 minutes.
Meanwhile, parboil the diced potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain well.
Stir the cinnamon, coriander and cumin into the chicken mixture and cook for 30 seconds. Add the sherry or wine and simmer for 2–3 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the potatoes, carrot, raisins, almonds, tomato puree, coriander and pepper. Remove from the heat.
Stir the water into the bread mix and knead for 2 minutes or until smooth. Cover and leave to rest for 5 minutes, then divide into 5 equal pieces. Roll out each piece on a lightly floured surface to a 20 cm round.
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Divide the filling among the dough rounds, spooning it into the centre. Brush the edge of each round with egg, then fold over into a half-moon shape. Press the edges together and roll over to seal. Place on a non-stick baking tray, cover with oiled plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 10–15 minutes or until slightly risen.
Uncover the pastries, glaze them with the rest of the beaten egg and sprinkle with the paprika. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 15 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Raisins, like other dried fruit, are a very good source of dietary fibre. They are also virtually fat-free and provide useful amounts of iron.