Vegan Jamaican Patties

If, like me, you spend all winter dreaming of being in the Caribbean instead, you can do what I do and enhance your dreaming with delicious Caribbean delicacies.

Jamaican patties are quite different to what we call patties in Australia (and many other parts of the world). We use the word patty to refer to the meat or veggie fillings in burgers, but in Jamaica a patty is more like what we might call a pasty - a savoury pastry with filling. The pastry of a Jamaican patty is golden yellow from turmeric and curry powder, and the fillings can vary. They're most commonly filled with meats of various types, but can also be filled with vegetables or cheese. Tofu isn't a traditional filling, but the curried crumbled tofu and potato in these ones are so delicious, they were a huge hit (even with traditional tofu-phobes).

In Jamaica, it's common to eat a patty sandwiched in a bread roll as a full meal. I find that the pastry and bread together might be a bit of overkill, so just ate mine as they were. But if you'd like a traditional Jamaican lunch, grab yourself a bread roll (in Jamaica it would be coco bread).

Jamaican Curry Tofu Patties

3 cups plain flour
1 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g vegan margarine/butter
3/4 cup ice water (give or take a bit)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
375g hard tofu, as much liquid pressed out as you can
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 scotch bonnet chilli (optional)
1 potato, peeled and diced into small cubes
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tsp dried or fresh thyme
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 cup chopped shallots

To Make:
1. To make the crust: combine the flour, curry powder, turmeric, salt and baking powder in a food processor. Chop the vegan margarine up and add it to the food processor, pulse it until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Gradually add in the ice water while you're processing until the dough starts to clump together into a ball. Turn it out onto a bench and dust with flour. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. To make the filling - heat the oil in a large frypan (or wok) and add the onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion is cooked. While it's cooking you can crumble up the tofu with your hands into a 'mince-like' consistency. Once the onion is cooked, add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Add the crumbled tofu, curry powder, chilli, potato, and the herbs and spices along with  1 1/2 cups water. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until all the liquid is gone and the potatoes are cooked through. Turn off the heat and allow the filling to cool and then stir though the chopped shallots. 
3. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. 
4. Get the dough out and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Roll out each piece to a circle about 1/8 inch thick. Each circle should be about 6 inches diameter. Place a generous amount of filling in the centre of each circle. Moisten the edges with a bit of water and fold them in half, crimping the edges together to seal them well. Continue with the remaining pastry and filling. Poke a couple of holes in the top of each one to allow the steam to escape while cooking. 
5. Line a baking tray with non stick paper and bake the patties for about 20-25 minutes, until golden. 

Makes 12 patties. 

Check out my other Jamaican recipe posts:

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