The best samosas I ever had in my life were at a wedding in England, made by the groom’s mother, a scary overbearing lady who didn’t smile during the whole affair. Damn fine cook, but oh thank you sweet lord she wasn’t my mother!
These are yummy, but not as yummy as hers. I got this recipe from the wonderful, the marvelous Madhur Jaffrey, whose book, World Vegetarian, just blows my mind. The filling is great, but the pastry could be a little bit lighter. Still, nothing some spicy mango pickle can’t fix. This is my first attempt at homemade samosas. I find them a little trickier than pakoras. Pakoras use batter, samosas use pastry and, well, lets be honest, pastry takes practice.
A word about fried food. I like it. I like the homemade stuff. My food philosophy is: if I made it and fried it, it’s not so bad. No preservatives. No weird ingredients that came straight out of a chem lab, fried or not.
inspired heavily by Madhur Jaffrey
750g or 5 smallish potatoes
1 onion, diced finely
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 green chile, deseeded and chopped
1 handful parsley or cilantro, chopped
1 tbs fresh ginger, peeled and minced (or grated)
fresh or frozen peas
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp garam masala
water as needed
olive oil and vegetable oil
225g or 2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
4 tbs olive oil
1. Start with the pastry. Mix the flour and salt together
2. Add the olive oil and rub it with your fingers to form a crumbly mixture
3. Add in the water and mix to form a stiff dough. Add a little more water as needed so that the dough sticks together.
4. Knead the dough on a clean counter until it is nice and smooth. A few minutes. Put in a plastic bag and set aside.
5. Boil the potatoes until just tender. Let cool and then peel and dice.
6. Heat up olive oil in a heavy frying pan and fry the onion, garlic and chili gently until very soft.
7. Add the spices, the diced potato, cilantro and peas. (Fresh peas will need longer cooking time.)
8. Add a little water to the potato mixture so that it doesn’t dry out or stick to the bottom.
9. Cook gently for a few minutes until all the flavors are combined. Add lemon juice, taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Might need a little more salt if too bland or water if too dry.
10. Back to the dough. By this time it should be softer and more pliable. Knead for a couple minutes and divide into 8 balls. Roll each one out very thinly–about as thin as a tortilla–and cut in half. Fold over into a triangle shape and use a fork to press down on the bottom side to seal it together. Put about a tsp of potato filling in and press down with a fork to seal the remaining open end. You should have what looks like a small wonton or empanada style samosa ready for frying. Continue with the rest of the pastry and filling until you have 16 samosas.
11. In a heavy frying pan, heat up some vegetable oil for deep frying or shallow frying. I chose shallow frying, so just enough oil to fry one side of the samosas fully before flipping.
12. Place the samosas gently in the oil and fry till one side is golden and then use tongs to flip over. Have plenty of paper towel to hand for draining.
13. We ate these with spicy mango pickle, but anything would be good–a mint cucumber dip or tomato sambal.