A spicy filling of chunky potato and green peas with a bite of chilli encased in a crisp light pastry.
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Probably the most well known of all the Indian snacks – samosas are simply amazing and I love them. All they are made of is pastry, potato, peas and that’s it – how three simple ingredients can taste so good is beyond me, but they are just amazing and yes I will say it again amazing! For me, these are a vegetable dish and although I have cooked meat samosas in my classes it’s not something I like to do.
My most significant memory of samosas is from my wedding where they were part of the festivities, right from all my aunties forming a production line in the kitchen gossiping, giggling and producing the amazing triangles parcels through to being served them for breakfast with a cup of hot, sweet chai, a combination that is out of this world.
You can’t help eating them one after the other and I think we got through hundreds of them. My best friend Nicky and her husband Mark called me a few days after the wedding and asked me if I could pop over and make a few before we left for our honeymoon as they were having withdrawal symptoms – addictive….very!
1 tsp of rapeseed oil
4 potatoes boiled (skin on)
50g frozen peas
½ tsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp of salt
½ tsp chilli powder
2 chillies, finely chopped
1-2 tsp of garam masala
1 tbsp ginger, grated
2 tbsp of fresh coriander, chopped
200g plain flour
1½ tbsp rapeseed oil
Pinch of salt
Approx. 100ml water
1 tbsp plain flour in a small bowl
Splash of cold water
Making the samosa
Rapeseed oil for deep frying
Cook the potatoes gently with the skin on (do not boil too vigorously) for about 25 minutes until soft. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Once cooled peel the skin off with your fingers.
Cut into small 1cm sized cubes and place in a large bowl.
In a small frying pan heat the oil and fry the cumin seeds. When sizzling, carefully add the peas and fry gently for a few minutes to soften. Remove from the heat and leave to cool before adding to the potatoes.
Add the grated ginger, salt, chilli, chilli powder, garam masala and fresh coriander to the potatoes and stir – check seasoning and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Place flour, oil and salt in a bowl and rub the mixture together.
Using your hand begin to sprinkle in a little water at a time to bring the dough together.
Continue to add the water in this way until the dough comes together. Using wet hands knead the dough until it is soft and no longer sticking to your hands or the bowl.
Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Heat up a thava or frying pan on the lowest heat setting.
Take a small tangerine sized ball of the dough and roll it between your palms to make a smooth ball.
Flatten and roll out with a rolling pin to create a thin round disc the size of a side plate flouring when necessary. Place the disc on the thava for 4 seconds. Remove and place on a chopping board. Using a sharp knife slice the disc in half so you are left with 2 semi-circles.
Place the semi-circles on a plate with the tea towel and cover to keep warm. Repeat with the rest of the dough so you are left with 10 – 12 semi-circles.
Make some flour glue by adding water to the flour and mix into a thick sticky paste.
Making the samosa
Place one semi-circle on your hand with the flat edge at the top and the cooked side facing you. Dip your finger in the paste and spread it across the straight edge.
Fold in the two corners so they meet in the middle ensuring one edge overlaps the other and press together to seal all the way down to create a smooth upside down cone.
Turn the cone over so the pointed end is at the bottom. Using a spoon fill the cone with the potato filling to 2/3 of the way up.
Seal the opening with the paste and seal it closed creating a triangle pastry. Lie on the tray and pat down to even the filling out. Repeat.
Heat the oil, test it is hot enough by dropping in a little bit of pastry – if it bubbles and floats to the top immediately the oil is ready.
Very carefully slip one samosa into the hot oil being careful that the oil doesn’t splash out. Leave the samosa to cook for a few seconds. As the pastry begins to bubble turn it over using a slotted spoon.
Leave it to cook gently until it turns a beautiful golden brown. Once it is cooked remove from the oil and set on some kitchen paper. As you become more confident fry 2 or 3 samosas at the same time.