In Amritsar’s ancient walled city in the shadow of the Golden Temple, travellers along the Silk Route and pilgrims alike gather to feast on some of the best street food India has to offer. From the eponymous Amritsari Chole and Kulche to the charred Fish Tikka, everyone has their favourites. In a shop with no sign, barely 100 metres from the great temple itself, one of its rarest treasures can be found. The Satpura is a flaky, deep-fried treat that patrons flock to nab as they emerge hot from the bubbling oil. The word Satpura is made up of two Hindi words, 'sat' meaning seven and 'pura' meaning layer. Visually akin to phyllo pastry of the west but poles apart in flavour, the Satpura is filled with a soft potato mash similar to a samosa, but 100 times airier and lighter. 

The recipe for the crispy dough is rumoured to be an import from Chittagong (now Bangladesh) and has developed organically since then. The current Satpura is quintessentially Amritsari and this is due partly to the fact that it’s notoriously hard to get right. Though simple to conceive, getting the seven layers to the correct thickness – or thinness perhaps – and to a point where it can envelop the potato filling neatly during the frying process can be a real challenge. But in Amritsar, they know what they’re doing.

It can be enjoyed much like any Indian savoury along with tea or with chole and chutney for a more filling bite. But however you choose to snack on your Satpura, you can be guaranteed a satisfactory crunch.

Image Credits: The Great Amritsar/Facebook

Ingredients: 

Dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp carom seeds
  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt to taste

Potato Filling

  • 2-3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 inch chopped ginger
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup chopped coriander
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 tbsp cornflour slurry
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying

Method:

  • Mix the flour, carom seeds, salt and butter in a large bowl. Rub the mixture together with your fingertips until it comes together in a crumb texture.
  • Add a little water to the mix to create a firm dough, cover it with a damp cloth and let it sit for half an hour. 
  • Uncover the dough and roll it paper thin, rub the dough with softened butter and dust with more flour.
  • Fold the dough in half and repeat the process seven times. 
  • Roll fold the rolled strips from both sides and let it proof for 2 hours.
  • For the stuffing, take heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, chopped ginger, green chillies, green peas, coriander powder, cumin powder, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, and garam masala.
  • Mash the green peas with some water and let it cook.
  • Add the chopped coriander and potatoes and mix well.
  • Dust the proofed dough with flour and cut it in half. 
  • Keep one half aside, roll the other and cut it into 4 pieces. 
  • Take one piece and cover in a coating of cornflour slurry. 
  • Put some stuffing on one side and fold it, press the corners and cover it properly.
  • Fry in oil until the layers open out slightly and turn golden brown.