April 2nd, 2011 will go down as a momentous day in the history of Indian cricket. On this day, the Indian cricket team trounced the Sri Lankans to bring home the cricket World Cup once again after 28 long years.
And how did we witness this great event unfold? Unfortunately, not a single sports channel on our Irish cable network was showing the match. We watched it via online streaming which wasn’t the best experience but we savoured the various heartbeat-stopping, nail-biting moments along with some hot samosas and cups of steaming hot Indian tea. Whoever said cricket is a boring, long and slow game!
Samosas are an all time favourite snack of my Dutch husband. He has a very fine appreciation of Indian food thanks to his one-year stint in India. This makes Indian cooking a joy for me since I don’t have to explain the origins, history and tastes and I know that it’ll be lapped up without much fuss 😉
This snack in simpler words, are little pastry cones stuffed with a savoury filling. The whole samosa making process may seem to be a bit arduous but the end results are always worth the effort. I feel the process can be divided roughly into three stages –
Making the filling
Making the pastry dough and rolling it out
Frying the filled pastry cones
The main challenge for me was to create accurate measurements of the ingredients that go into the recipe. I learned this recipe from my mom and both her and me cook Indian food by intuition rather than by exact measurements. Therefore, I’ve tried my best to translate my ‘pinches’ and ‘handfuls’ into more meaningful measures. I hope the pictures will also help act as a guide.
The recipe below makes 6 samosas.
For the filling –
2-3 tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil
4-5 medium sized peeled, cut and boiled potatoes (I used Maris Piper)
1 medium sized onion finely sliced
1 can of processed peas
1 tsp turmeric powder*
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder*
a small bunch of fresh coriander leaves (I was out of coriander leaves so you don’t see them in the pics below ;))
*these spices are easily available nowadays in any good supermarket. If you can’t find them there, Asian stores definitely stock them.
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Once hot, add the onions and fry them for a minute or so until they soften. Then lower the heat (to avoid the spices from burning) and add the turmeric, chilli and garam masala powders. Stir everything together for another minute. Add the boiled potatoes and break them up a bit with the back of the spoon. Add the peas. Season with salt. Let the mixture cook for a minute or so and then remove from heat. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Your filling is now ready.
For the pastry cones –
175 gms plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup water
This step is pretty much like making dough for pizza, Indian naan bread or any other kind of bread. You mix the water in slowly with the rest of the ingredients until you get a soft, pliable dough. Divide the dough into 3 big equal sized balls.
Roll out each ball into a large disc with even thickness all around. I must confess that I can never roll dough out into perfect circles like my mom does but then again, I lack the 30 odd years of experience she has rolling out dough for rotis 😉
Cut each rolled out piece of dough into two equal semicircles by drawing a knife right across the middle.
Apply some water along the edges of one of the halves. This helps the dough to stick easily when forming the cone. Roll the semi circle into a cone and pinch together the pointy end so the stuffing doesn’t fall out when you fill the cone.
Fill spoonfuls of the stuffing into the open end of the cone until it’s nice and full. Then pinch the pastry together to seal it. Some of the filling may ooze out at this stage but this is perfectly okay.
Repeat this process until you have six stuffed samosas ready for frying.
Frying the stuffed cones –
Heat about 300ml of vegetable or sunflower oil in a wok. Once it’s smoking hot, gently drop in one or more of the cones, depending on the size of your wok, and fry them until golden brown on both sides. The samosas can be placed on a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain excess oil.
I usually serve my samosas with sweet chilli dipping sauce but feel free to serve them with any other favourite condiment.
Makes a great accompaniment to a piping hot cup of tea and a live match on TV. Go India!