Portuguese Sweets, Veganised traditional Portuguese dishes

‘Azevigans’

‘Azevias’ are one of many Christmas sweet dishes in Portugal. Is not traditional in all parts of the country, it’s mainly eaten in Alentejo. The traditional ones are made with eggs and lard, and is also fried. I had to come up with not only a vegan version but also a healthier type of these little pastries. They are also made with a secret special ingredient – chickpeas! The final result is lovely and it does not require a lot of work, definitely worth a try!

Time: 50 minutes approx.

Type: sweet pastries

Difficulty: 2.5 pans

Makes: 10 to 12 individual pastries

What you need:

250g all-purpose flour

2 tbsp vegetable spread, softened

a sprinkle of salt

2 x 100ml warm water

150 brown sugar

1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 small sweet potato, skinned and boiled

50g ground almonds (almond flour)

1/2 tsp lemon or orange essence or zest of one lemon/orange

1 tsp ground cinnamon

icing sugar

Utensils:

bowls

2 small pans

measuring cup

blender

mixing spoons

zester (if using)

rolling pin

parchment paper

baking tray

sieve

Directions:

Start by boiling the sweet potato chunks until soft (about 10 minutes)- once cooked, drain water;

Pour the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre;

Add 100ml of warm water, a sprinkle of salt and softened vegetable spread and mix well;

Knead the dough for a couple of minutes and reserve (add a little flour or water if necessary);

In a small pan, place the rest of the water and the sugar, mix, bring it to a boil, reduce heat and let it simmer for about 5 minutes;

Add chickpeas to a blender, along with sweet potato, almond flour, cinnamon, orange/lemon zest/essence and sugar and water mixture;

Pulse until all is well combined into a smooth paste (add a little water if necessary);

Flour a work surface and stretch the dough to a thin layer with a rolling pin (I find it easier to do it in batches);

Cut round pieces of dough (I used a small bowl to shape it), place about 1 tsp of the filling inside and fold the dough over it, to form a half moon- make sure it’s well sealed;

Repeat until all the dough is used;

Place pastries in parchment paper and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C for about 20 minutes till cooked through;

Let it cool and dust with icing sugar and more cinnamon before serving.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.