Samosas

The truth is that the first time I made samosas was because someone told me I couldn’t.  Believe me, there are many things I have done for that very reason.  Most of them were great ideas, but there were a few doozies in there too.    However, this was a great idea.  I love samosas.  I love anything spicy and these can be made as spicy as you choose.

I have a friend, Karunesvari, who has an amazing food business with her husband.   She makes great, authentic samosas.  I make okay ones.  They are not in her class, but they taste great, and I am proud of myself everytime I make them.  Even more so whenever I eat them.

I really enjoy them.  And they are so much easier to make than you might expect.  I make huge batches and freeze them until I need them.  They are not difficult to make but when I am making them it makes sense to make lots.

The thing I learnt the hard way, the first time, I made these was that “less really is more”.  I was sure that they needed more filling.  After all, it was so delicious and surely more is better.  Not so much.  It made them hard to fold and some of them spilt out while they were cooking.

So, lesson learnt.  It isn’t what you have, it’s what you do with it.  🙂

Samosas
Dough:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus 1 tablespoon for oiling the bowl
3/4 cup water

Potato Filling:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 boiling potatoes, peeled, boiled and cubed
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro (chadon beni)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala

3 cups vegetable oil for frying

Directions:

To make the dough:

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and 1/4 cup oil, working the dough with your fingers to create a coarse meal.

Pour in the water and knead vigorously for about 5 minutes, until a ball forms.  Add extra water if needed, a tablespoon at a time.

Turn the dough out of the bowl and continue kneading until smooth.

Wash out the mixing bowl and place 1 tablespoon oil in the bottom.

Roll the ball in the oil several times so that all sides are coated.

Cover the bowl with a damp clean dish towel and let the dough rest for 2 hours at room temperature.

Meanwhile, make the filling:

In a medium skillet, heat the oil. When it is hot, add the mustard seeds; when they crackle and begin to burst, add the onion and ginger. Sauté; until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Add the fennel, cumin and turmeric, stirring. Add the potatoes, peas, salt and water.

Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 5 minutes to combine the flavours. Stir in the cilantro and the garam masal. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To prepare the samosas:

Pinch off a piece of dough the size of a large walnut, keeping the rest of the dough covered. On a lightly floured surface, roll the ball into a flat disk about 4 inches in diameter. Place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of the circle and fold over to create a semicircle. Moisten the inner edges with water and pinch them closed.

This is where I change the method slightly.  I roll the dough out slightly larger and cut it in half to use semi circles of dough.  I fold it into a cone shape and pinch the edges before filling it and then pinching it shut.  I like triangular samosas. 

I have no idea why, other than I have only ever had triangular samosas and I am such a traditionalist!

Lay each samosa flat on a plate and cover with plastic wrap or foil until all of them are ready for deep-frying.

To deep-fry, heat 3 cups oil in a large skillet to 375F; a cube of bread tossed in will brown quickly. Deep-fry the pastries 4 or 5 at a time until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined platter.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

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