Samosa Tart (Tarte Au Soleil)

An indian twist to the French appetizer, “tart au soleil” Puff pastry sheets stuffed with traditional samosa filling. Buttery, spicy and easy, this tart is a great appetizer idea for easy entertaining.

If you are looking for an easy show stopper appetizer to make for your Diwali party, consider this sun shaped samosa tart. It can be assembled ahead and baked when you like.

Samosas are hugely popular and though I am all about traditional cooking but trust me having such recipes up one’s sleeve are also essential to save time when you are playing host and have a ton of things to do. Forget about spending hours to make a show stopper appetizer! I made these samosa pinwheels two years back and really puff pastry encasing traditional samosa filling is such an amazing way to imitate taste of authentic samosa closely, without the deep frying. However, this tart is in no way low in calories, but its super easy and delish!

WHAT IS A TARTE AU SOLEIL?

Tarte au Soleil is a fun french appetizer made with a savory filling and puff pastry.Two puff pastries are stuffed with a savory filling (samosa filling here),sealed, sliced in thin triangles to imitate the sun rays which are then twisted to create a roundish tart that after baking resembles the sun. Hence this tart is sometimes also called “sun tart”. Serve it as savory center piece with a bowl of green chutney and sev. This tart tastes amazing warm as well as at room temperature. All you need is store bought puff pastry dough. The samosa filling is can be made ahead as well.

Samosa Filling

Traditional samosa filling is made with boiled potatoes and peas. For taste and texture, I use two a mix of kinds of potatoes – russet & yellow or gold potatoes available in US stores. See recipe for quantities. To keep the soul of the samosa, I made authentic samosa filling spiced with spices like coriander, cumin, hing and amchoor (dry mango powder). Ginger and chaat masala add a unique flavor and tang to the filling. You can add some chopped nuts to the filling like cashews as well. Don’t miss the chopped green chilies & cilantro, they aren’t optional!

How to Make the Samosa Tarte Au Soleil?

Step 1:– Roll out thawed puff pastry to remove the seams at the folds. At all times make sure that the pastry is chilled. Start working with the first pastry sheet while the second one keeps refrigerated. Place the sheet on the parchment paper and work on it. Also choose a flat cookie sheet preferably to bake the tart than a rounded cake pan, its easier to pull out that way.

Step 2:- Once the puff pastry sheet is rolled out, choose a 10 or 12 inch dinner place and cut all along using a sharp knife. You will be left with a circle once you remove the trimmed edges.

Step 3:- Spread cold(very important!!) samosa filling evenly on the sheet leaving about 1 inch from the edges. The samosa filling should not be too chunky and don’t stuff too much else the tart will be soggy. You can smoothen out the filling using a spatula. Return to fridge while you start working on the second puff pastry sheet.

Step 4:- Using the same dinner plate you used for the first sheet, cut out a circle from the second puff pastry sheet. Brush some water on the edges that we left out on the first sheet and place the second sheet to sandwich the samosa filling. Seal the edges by pressing down lightly so that both the sheets stick together.

Step 5: – Place a juice glass in the center. Press slightly to form a circular impression but not all the way through. Now starting outwards from the edge of centre circle, cut 4 quarters to begin with. This will help you keep the rays of equal size. Next half each quarter and proceed to half those halves.

Step 6:- Once the rays have been sliced, carefully lift the rays (you can use a spatula) and twist the rays inwards bringing the end part to flatten on the parchment. Once all the rays have been twisted, use a fork and crimp the flat end part.

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Step 7:- Brush the tart with melted butter (this will help in golden baking) and sprinkle some cumin seeds in the center. Bake away!

Few important tips and tricks to keep in mind when you make this tart:-

  1. I am sure you have heard this many times but at all times keep the pastry chilled. It should be pliable once thawed but should not feel sticky between your fingers.
  2. You can make the samosa filling a day ahead. Make it and store it refrigerated. If you are making it the same day, you have to make sure that the filling is cold when you make the tart. Warm or hot filling will melt the butter in the puff pastry sheet.
  3. Dont keep the samosa filling chunky. We have to twist this tart and too chunky potatoes will rip the pastry. Crumble your potatoes a little smaller than you normally would. However do not mash or grate the potatoes.
  4. You can assemble this tart up to 1 day in advance. Don’t freeze, keep it refrigerated and bake 40-45 minutes prior to serving.
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Samosa Tart (Tarte Au Soleil)

A fun indian-= french fusion appetizer. Puff pastry layers stuffed with traditional samosa filling. Buttery, spicy and easy, this tart is a great appetizer idea for effortless entertaining. 
Course Appetizer
Cuisine French, Indian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 10 inch tart

Ingredients

For the Samosa Filling

  • 4 boiled potatoes I use a mix of russet & gold potatoes (1 large russet and 3 medium gold)
  • 1/2 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp hing (asafoetida)
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, coarsely crushed
  • 2-3 thai bird green chilies, adjust to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder, adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp chaat masala
  • 1/2 tsp anardana (dried pomegranate sedds, if you cannot find, simply skip)
  • 1/2 tsp amchoor (dry mango powder)
  • 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1.5 tsp salt or to taste
  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro

For the Samosa Tart

  • 2 puff pastry sheets (thawed overnight and kept cold)
  • 1-2 tbsp cold water
  • Butter for brushing

Instructions

Step 1 :- Make the Samosa Filling

  • Peel the boiled potatoes and using your hands, crumble them into small pieces, don’t mash or grate them. Set aside.
  • In a medium pan, add the cooking oil and heat it up on medium low. Temper the oil with cumin, hing and coriander seeds, saute for 20 seconds, do not let the spices burn. Add the chopped ginger and green chillies and saute for about 10-15 seconds taking care not to burn anything. Take the pan off the stove if needed.
  • Add peas, return to the stove and and sprinkle 1/2 tsp of salt. Cook the peas for 1-2 minutes if using frozen, cook for 4-7 minutes if using fresh until the peas are soft. You might need to cover the pan in case of fresh peas.
  • Add the red chili powder next and saute. Add the potatoes to the pan and mix with everything else. Reduce the heat to low and saute on low heat for 3-5 minutes until the potatoes are warmed through and nicely combined with spices and herbs but do not turn brown.
  • Switch off the stove. Immediately mix in rest of the ingredients – chaat masalaanardana, amchoor, roasted cumin powder. Mix, taste and adjust the salt. Mix the cilantro. Samosa filling is ready. Transfer to a bowl or let the filling completely cool down in the pan. You can make the filling a day ahead as well.

Step 2:- Assemble & Bake the Tart

  • Line a large cookie baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Roll out thawed puff pastry to remove the seams at the folds. At all times make sure that the pastry is chilled. Place on parchment paper and start working with the first pastry sheet while the second one keeps refrigerated.
  • Once the puff pastry sheet is rolled out, choose a 10 or 12 inch dinner place and cut all along using a sharp knife. You will be left with a circle once you remove the trimmed edges. 
  • Spread the cold samosa filling evenly on the sheet leaving about 1 inch from the edges. You can smoothen out the filling using a spatula. Return to fridge while you start working on the second puff pastry sheet. 
  • Using the same dinner plate you used for the first sheet, cut out a circle from the second puff pastry sheet. Brush some water on the edges that we left out on the first sheet and place the second sheet to sandwich the samosa filling. Seal the edges by pressing down lightly.
  • Place a juice glass in the center. Press slightly to form a circular impression but not all the way through. Now starting outwards from the edge of centre circle, cut 4 quarters to begin with. This will help you keep the rays of equal size. Next half each quarter and proceed to half those halves. You should have 16 rays.
  • Once the rays have been sliced, carefully lift the rays (you can use a spatula) and twist the rays inwards bringing the end part to flatten on the parchment. Once all the rays have been twisted, use a fork and crimp the flat end part.
  • Generoulsly Brush the tart with melted butter (this will help in golden baking) and sprinkle some cumin seeds in the center. Chill for 20 minutes.You can store the assembled tart for upto 1 day.
  • Preheat oven to 400. Bake the tart for 23-26 minutes until goldebn brown. Once baked, let stand for 10 minutes and serve with chutney.

Eggplant & Tomato Chutney Pizza

I tasted eggplant pizza first time on my trip to Genoa, Italy about fourteen years ago. I was traveling solo and was a vegetarian during those years. Right behind the hotel, overlooking the Ligurian Sea was an old ship docked on the harbor, home to restaurants, shops, cafes and pizzeria. Most evenings after work were spent there to grab a shot of espresso followed by dinner.

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Being a vegetarian in foreign lands could be a little hard and I used to keep ordering the same things – pesto pizza, cheese & tomato focaccia, eggplant pasta & pizza,lemon linguini etc. If it were not for those pizzeria and the piping hot pizza they served, I would have never learnt to eat eggplant this way. Yum!The pizzas were super delicious, though I must admit a bit lacking on spice levels for my indian palate. There is something about the combination of sweet juicy tomatoes, the eggplant especially their skins after they get cooked in high heat and the melt cheeses- mozzarella & parmesan- its such a harmony of flavors and textures in each bite.

I am a huge fan of vegetarian pizzas and you can say that this recipe combines the east & west. A robust spicy and tangy tomato chutney is used as a sauce on which I layer grilled eggplant slices, sprinkle parmesan and the flash bake it till the eggplant is just tender, still spongy and juicy to bite into. An amazing fusion recipe which is on repeat all summer in my kitchen since tomatoes and eggplant bounty is at its peak during this time.

You can make individual pizzas or a large 12 or 14 inch. Add more or less cheese, I leave it up to you.

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Eggplant & Tomato Chutney Pizza

Quick vegetarian pizza using indian tomato chutney as the pizza sauce and topped with eggplant and cheese. Its cheesey and spicy & dosent feel like eating vegetables at all.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Indian, Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 personal pizzas

Ingredients

For the Tomato Chutney

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2-3 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp split urad dal
  • 1-2 dried red chilies
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion roughly chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • pinch of hing
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 6-8 curry leaves

For the Pizza

  • 4 personal pizza base (or 12 inch pizza base)
  • 1 large egglant
  • 2-3 tbsp oil
  • Tomato Chutney
  • Cheese – shredded mozarella & parmesan (as much as you like)

Instructions

Make the Tomato Chutney

  • Heat oil in a pan. Temper the oil with cumin seeds and peppercorns. Add the urad dal and crackle. Add the dried chilli and let brown a bit.
  • Next add onions, ginger, garlic, tomatoes everything together and sprinkle salt and sugar. Mix well and let cook on medium heat till the tomatoes are soft and mushy. Takes about 6-8 minutes.
  • Transfer everything to a blender jar and blend to a thick smooth paste.
  • In the same pan, add 1/2 tbsp oil and temper the oil with mustard & fenugreek seeds. Let crackle, add a pinch of hing and add the curry leaves. Once the curry leaves are crisped, add the tomato paste and cook everything for 3-4 minutes untill its saucy.
  • Let cool and store in a air tight container for 8-10 days refrigerated. Use as you like.

For the Pizza

  • Slice the eggplant into slices. Dont slice too thin or too thick. Cut into half if the slices are too big. Sprinkle with salt and let the eggplant slices sit for 10 minutes.
  • Wipe eggplant with a paper towel and onn a hot gril pan or regular pan, add 2-3 tbsp oil and place the eggplant slices. Cook for 3-4 minutes on high heat on each side till the eggplant is little soft but not fully cooked. Take out in a plate.
  • Preheat oven to 500F or the highest temperature your oven heats up to.
  • Assemble the pizza- Place the pizza base on a pizza stone or place on a cookie sheet lined with a rack. Spread the 1-2 tbsp tomato chutney on top of the pizza bases, add shredded mozarella cheese. Layer eggplant slices. Sprinkle parmesan cheese. You can add a drizzle of oil at this stage as well.
  • Bake for 5-6 minutes until the cheese has melted. Sprinkle with some chili flakes and serve warm.