April 8, 2014

Samosa

Samosa
Our first guest post from a fellow foodie and friend from a lifetime ago, Senjuti. She is a wonderful cook (surprise! surprise!) and a fantastic photographer. This is her take on the delicious potato and pea filled deep fried pastry called Samosa. 

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Serves: 6-8 (depends on how well your guests eat)

Ingredients:
Garam Masala
2 large or 3 medium sized potatoes (roughly 450 - 500 gm or 1 lb)
2 cups all purpose flour (Maida)
1 cup whole wheat flour (Atta)
1 – 2 cups of water to knead the dough  
1 cup of peas (Frozen works great. This is however an optional ingredient)
1 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
1 teaspoon asafoetida (I use it a little heavy handedly because I love the smell – feel free to add only half teaspoon)
1 teaspoon ginger powder or ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
Garam-masala of your choice – you can purchase it at any store that sells Indian groceries (I use a special blend that I get from my grandmother’s house in semi-rural central India which I think adds to the earthy flavors of the samosa)
Salt to taste
Ajwain seeds
Vegetable or Canola Oil – 3 to 4 tablespoons full (use more if you want a yummier and unhealthier version)
More oil for deep frying (this is not the healthiest snack that was invented :P )


Method:
  • Boil the potatoes, peel them and mash them half way through in a big bowl and set aside.
  • In a pan heat 2-3 tablespoons of the oil and temper the carom (ajwain) seeds over medium high heat and immediately add the asafoetida and ginger one after the other and lightly temper them together.  Add the peas once the heat rises slightly (keep a careful watch so that you don’t end up with burnt seasoning).
  • Add the lightly mashed boiled potatoes and then add the garam masala and cook for a while till the rawness of the spices are cooked out.
  • Add salt, mix well and take off the heat. Set this aside.
  • Potato filling
  • Take both kinds of flours in a big bowl and add a few pinches of salt and 1 tablespoon of oil and knead it into a ‘tight’ dough.  Don’t ask me what it means, that’s how my Ma always described the dough for ‘loochi’ or ‘nimki’ and that’s how I figured it means the dough shouldn’t be gooey and should yield nicely to the touch, do the best you can.  It is just like when you used to play with play-dough in kindergarten – the dough should be pliable and should kind of bounce back to a poke/nudge.
  • On a rolling board, pinch out small balls of the dough (roughly the breadth of your index and pointer laid side by side when the dough is an inch thick) and make rough circular shapes with a rolling pin (making circular shapes roughly the size of your palm).  Place a tablespoon of the potato mixture which you had kept side in the center and then fold the circular shape in half – kind of like a semi circle.
  • Once you fold over, press the bottom with the top of a finger and then take one side and fold it over to the middle. It helps if you have eaten a samosa – kind of make it into a conical pocket – the pictures show how I did them.  Please let me know if you find a more efficient way to fold them.   
Samosas in the making

  • Once you have successfully made all the potato - pouches, deep-fry them in medium high heat, taking care to not burn.  Once the whole exterior is golden brown, it is done.  There is very less chance of under cooking these because the insides have already been cooked once.   
  • Lay out on a plate and have super fun devouring them with any ketchup or tamarind or coriander chutney that you can lay your hands on.  I skipped the tamarind chutney recipe because I made mine in two steps in the last minute.
  • Lastly, have fun making them :)

Crispy samosas ready to eat!
It’s the easiest fancy sounding snack I have ever served my guests. The folding sounds tedious in writing, only if you saw me do it, I promise you it is so much easier than it sounds. My guests always appreciate the thought and taste – I know my samosas look imperfect and that’s what I like about them – they look homemade and taste sinful – the perfect combination on a rainy/snowy day!  

    Bon Appetit!

    Senjuti from Ithaca

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