Aloo pie is a delicious fried dough stuffed with potatoes that’ve been seasoned with garam masala, pepper and Caribbean green seasoning.
It is usually flattened before frying and served with curried channa (chickpeas) or chutneys like mango or tamarind.
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What is Aloo Pie?
‘Aloo’ is the Hindi word for potatoes. So, aloo pie is essentially a fried potato pie that is popular in Trinidad and Tobago.
It has origins in East Indian cuisine where it shares some similarities to aloo kachori.
Sowmya from Subbu’s Kitchen explains how she makes hers with flour, potato, turmeric, cumin powder and other seasonings. But she doesn’t use yeast in hers.
In T&T, aloo pie is a popular street food that is usually sold alongside doubles, pholouri, saheena, and kachori (this is different from Sowmya’s).
How to Make Aloo Pie
To make Trini aloo pie, you’ll need to make a potato filling and dough.
This tutorial is courtesy my mother-in-law. Special thanks to her for making and sharing her recipe.
For the filling, you’ll need:
- cumin powder
- Caribbean green seasoning (culantro, cilantro, pepper, garlic, etc)
If you’re interested in using Caribbean pepper sauces, check out these from Amazon:
The dough calls for:
- all-purpose flour
- oil for frying
Of course, as I’ve said many, many times, you can tweak this recipe to your liking – especially the filling. Throw in your favorite flavorings in there!
Making the filling is a simple process of washing the potatoes and boiling them until they are soft.
After you strain, allow them to cool before peeling and mashing. They should be smooth and not chunky.
Finely chop the onion. Grating or crushing it is also acceptable. You don’t want any large onion pieces in the filling.
To the mashed potatoes, mix in the onion, all your favorite seasonings (she used Caribbean green seasoning), salt, pepper and cumin powder. The cumin powder gives the aloo pie its signature taste but a little goes a long way.
For the dough, mix all-purpose flour, yeast, salt and sugar together.
Crumble the butter into the dry ingredients.
Then, add water a little at a time and knead until you form a smooth dough ball. It shouldn’t be too soft.
Divide the dough into small 2-inch dough balls. These are called loyaas (a Hindi term for said dough balls).
Take one dough ball and flatten into a small circle that covers the palm of your hand.
Place some dry all-purpose flour on there. This helps the potato filling spread out in the pie when you flatten it.
With the flour on there, add a large spoonful of the potato. The amount of filling you add is based on your preferences. If you want a pie that has more cumin flavor, simply add more potato. If you like it with more dough, then use less filling. It’s all up to you.
Use your palms to pull the dough around the potato while pressing the filling down with your thumbs. This should encase the potato and allow you to pinch the edges of the dough to seal everything and form a dough ball.
(The photos are a little blurry – she was moving really fast!)
Pinching the edges is important. Don’t rotate and squeeze like you’ll normally do for bread. This will cause the pie to disfigure in the hot oil when frying (I made that mistake!).
After stuffing all the dough balls, leave them to rest for 20 minutes.
Once the dough has rested, it’s time to fry.
Place a heavy pot on medium heat. When it’s hot, add enough vegetable oil to deep fry the pies. This would be a minimum of three to four cups of oil. Allow the oil to heat up too.
Next, rub oil on your hands so you can handle the dough easily without it sticking. You don’t want to use flour here because the flour will burn in the oil and affect the taste of the pie.
Take one stuffed dough ball in the palm of your hand and flatten it lengthways until it covers your palm and fingers. The loose flour you used before adding the potato guarantees the filling spreads out nicely inside the pie.
Gently add the aloo pie to the hot oil. Leave it until it puffs up and becomes golden. Flip and continue cooking (and flipping again) until the whole thing develops a nice golden brown color.
You want to cook the loose flour and the dough thoroughly. It can take about 6 to 10 minutes to fully cook.
If the oil is too hot, the pies will brown too quickly and the dough won’t cook properly. So maintain the oil at medium heat.
Once cooked, remove from the oil and place on oil absorbent paper or napkins.
Serve hot with your favorite chutneys. Or slice along its length and stuff with curried channa (chickpeas).
Aloo Pie Recipe
Authentic Trini Aloo Pie
- 1 kg potatoes
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 2 tbsp green seasoning (with culantro, cilantro, pepper, garlic)
- 1 onion (finely chopped or crushed)
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 5 cups flour
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp yeast
- 2 tbsp butter
- water for kneading (approx. 1½ cups)
- vegetable oil for frying
- Boil potatoes until soft (approx. 40 minutes).
- Allow to cool.
- Peel and mash.
- Mix in cumin powder, onion, green seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Taste and adjust the filling to your preference.
- Set aside.
- Mix dry ingredients.
- Add water, a little at a time, and knead to form a smooth dough.
- Divide the dough into small 2-inch dough balls.
- Flatten a single dough ball.
- Add flour to one side of the flattened dough.
- Place a large spoonful of potato filling in the center of the flattened dough.
- Pull and pinch the edges together to seal the dough ball (do not roll the ball to close it).
- Leave the stuffed dough to rest for 20 minutes.
- Place a heavy pot on medium heat.
- When hot, add oil to the pot and allow to heat up.
- Rub oil onto your hands.
- Take a stuffed dough ball and flatten between your palms.
- When the oil is hot, gently place the aloo pie in your oil.
- Allow the pie to become golden on one side before flipping.
- Continue cooking and flipping until the pie is completely golden. the other side has also developed the golden color.
- Remove and place in oil absorbent paper.
- Serve hot with your favorite chutneys or slice along its length and stuff with curried channa (chickpeas).
Pholourie is a fried dough ball made with flour, split peas powder, and seasonings and served with chutneys like mango, tamarind, and pommecythere (golden apple).
Dhalpuri is one type of roti stuffed with ground yellow split peas (dhal) that has been seasoned with salt, garlic, turmeric powder, cumin powder, fresh herbs and pepper.