When I first visited Jamaica a few years ago, I honestly had never heard of the Jamaican patty and most of all, I didn’t realize how big of a deal this specialty was! I used to see so many people bite into something peeking out of a brown paper bag- and so skillfully, that not one crumb of it’s notoriously flaky crust would fall on their clothes (or on their lap- if they were driving!) It was like a large empanada– but supposedly better. According to everyone I met, I was told that nothing could beat the Jamaican patty- and that it was simply the best, in the world! hehe 🙂
Anyhow- I wasn’t eating patties from the mainstream chains (Tastee or Juici) because there didn’t seem to be any real vegan options – at that time (Juici now has a vegan ackee patty FYI).
Then I came across a different type of patty, mostly sold by the Rasta community, sometimes known as a “yatty”. In fact, the best yatty I ever tried was from a man called Benji- he’s usually at the reggae/music events with his yatty stand 🙂 I loved it so much, that I only ate “yatties”. It didn’t matter to me that the crust wasn’t flaky- in fact, I loved how wholesome the crust was and how flavourful the innards were.
Years later (aka 7 trips later!) out of curiosity. I FINALLY tried a traditional patty (the Juici ackee patty). While it was OK- I actually still preferred the yatty type crust. It didn’t give me any acid reflux- which I unfortunately got from the ackee patty 😦 (I think it was due to the crust and the result of years of eating cleaner foods).
During this time, I have tried to make something that could emulate a yatty countless times. I don’t think mine matches Benji’s- but I’m still quite pleased with the result.
I love making my own vegan patties because I know exactly what goes into it. It’s also a GREAT way of using any leftover veggies in your fridge- just cook them up, season them EXTRA well and use them as a patty filling. I also really enjoy working with my hands, and if I make too many patties, I’ll just freeze any unbaked ones- and pop them into the oven when I’m ready 🙂
Patties are an outlet for your creativity- so please have fun! I’ve made a vegan “beef” patty before (a soy-free secret recipe that I’ll share in due time). But for now, here are the basics- once you have the basics, you can make ANY patty you want 🙂 Enjoy!
You’ll need (makes 4-5 patties):
- 80 gr (2.8oz) coconut oil, kept in fridge the night before
- 120 gr (4.2oz) wholewheat flour
- 40gr (1.4oz) white flour + some extra on the side.
- 1/2 cup cold water
- Filling of your choice
- Place the coconut oil in the fridge the night before- you want it to solidify (FYI this step does NOT apply if you live in a cold country lol)
- Remove the coconut oil and chop it into small tiny pieces and place in a large bowl.
- Then add both flours, pinch of salt and some turmeric (for colour).
- Fill 1/2 cup with COLD water. Keep it near you. Also keep some flour near you too.
- With your hands, mix everything together.
- Then gradually add the cold water for a smooth dough.
- If it’s too “wet” add a bit of flour. It has to be smooth & supple. Not too greasy, not too dry!
- Form the dough into a ball and place in fridge for 15-30 minutes.
Now- it’s time to make the patties!
Step 1 (above): sprinkle some flour on your working surface. Roll out the dough and cut it out into a circle using a bowl.
So you’re gonna end up with a dough like above. But we don’t want to work with a circle shaped dough– so we’re gonna need to roll this out again.
Step 2: Roll the dough out again. Starting from the middle of the circle, roll once upwards, and once downwards. You should end up with an oval-ish shape (see pic below).
Step 3: OK! Now we are ready to fill with whatever your heart desires! One day I happened to have a ripe plantain, tomatoes & gungo peas left over- so I cooked them all together with onions, scallion, curry spices, cayenne pepper… and ya. Your filling should be extra flavourful- because remember, the patty dough will “tone it down” a little. So be bold with your flavours!
Step 4: Fold the patty 🙂 Seal the edges well.
Step 5: with a fork, mark the edges so they look pretty.
Step 6: you have two options here! Option A: pop in the freezer and use at a later date (freeze for up to 2 weeks please- I can’t guarantee it will be as tasty for more than that) or Option B: BAKE AND EAT NOW!
For option B: preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the patties on the tray and bake for 30-35 minutes. Voila 😀