Thursday, April 20, 2006

Samosa Satisfaction At Last

I love samosas. Who wouldn't? Spicy veggies or meats pocketed in a little pillow of dough and deep fried. Ask me if I want a samosa and I will gladly say yes. Ask me to make my own and I would get shivers and balk at the thought, turning and running like the wind. No matter how hard I tried, I could never ever ever ever get the dough right for the pockets. I thought I'd never have the pleasure of samosa heaven. Then I found out about pre-cut samosa wrappers. I bought about three packages on my last sojourn south. Wanna know what happened when I tried them out for the first time? I happy-danced all over the kitchen when I sealed up my first little pillow of samosa filling in that little pocket. It was like I had reached samosa enlightenment. I near-danced and sang my way through the rest of the pocket-forming and -filling. "Samusa Wrappers" You SAVED MY SANITY!

I made two kinds of samosas. One kind for me. One kind for Ben. For eons I haven't been able to tolerate ground beef without getting ill but Ben loves it. So mine enjoyed a spicy potato filling that suited me just fine.

Meat Samosa Filling (adapted from The Complete Indian Cookbook by Mridula Baljekar):

2tbsp cooking oil
2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped
8 oz lean ground lamb or beef (I used beef. Where would I find ground lamb here?)
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2inch cube ginger, finely grated
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsps ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup frozen peas
2 tbsp flaked coconut
1 tsp garam masala
1-2 fresh green chile peppers, finely chopped, seeded for a milder flavour
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves (Ben isn't so fond so I cut it down to a smidgen)
1 tbsp lemon juice
[NB: There was a tad more meat than asked for and I know Ben likes spices so I doubled up on all spices]

1. Heat the oil over medium heat and fry the onions until they are lightly browned
2. Add the meat, garlic and ginger. Stir and fry until all the liquid evaporates and adjust heat to low.
3. Add the turmeric, coriander, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Stir and fry until meat is lightly browned.
4. Add the water and the peas, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes. If there is any liquid left, take the lid off and cook over medium heat until the mixture is completely dry, stirring frequently.
5. Stir in the coconut, garam masala, green chili peppers and coriander leaves.
6. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice. Cool thoroughly before filling the pastry.

Vegetable Samosa Filling (adapted from The Complete Indian Cookbook by Mridula Baljekar):

3 medium-sized potatoes
2 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 tsp black or white mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 dried red chili peppers, coarsely chopped (I suppose you could seed them. I didn't)
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped (I like onion. I used a large onion)
1-2 fresh green chiles, coarsely chopped and seeded for milder flavour if desired
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves (Don't have much so did what I could)

[NB: like with Ben, I like spices so I double up on the spice amounts. Also added some lemon juice like Ben's by accident but actually adds a nice zing]

1. Boil the potatoes in their skins, allow them to cool thoroughly, then peel and dice them
2. Heat the oil and add mustard seeds. As soon as they start crackling, add the cumin seeds and red chili peppers. Stir. Add the onions and green chili peppers. Fry until the onions are soft. Add the turmeric, coriander and cumin.
3. Stir quickly and add the potoatoes and the salt.
4. Reduce heat to low, stir and cook until the potatoes are thoroughly mixed with spices
5. Remove from heat and stir in coriander leaves. Cool thoroughly before filling the samosas.

Last steps for both:
A) Follow samosa wrapper instructions for folding and filling. Complete the pockets before doing next step.
B) Fill frying pan with oil up to 1/2 inch. Heat. When hot drop in samosas about four or five at a time. Fry on one side until golden brown, flip and fry other side. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.

You'd need two packages of "Samusa Wrappers" for this or you will have leftovers like I did. Well.. of the meat. Ben took the potatoes as a side dish.

We also had it with my favourite Indian food accompaniment: Coconut Rice (recipe at a later time)


iamchanelle said...

hi nerissa - those potato-filled samosas sound great! funny, i just made fried wontons - haha! must have been a deep-fat-fried mood around the blogosphere....


Michele said...

Wow, those look good! I've never tired Samosas but a friend recently gave me a recipe and they are on my list of things to try soon!

Nerissa said...

chanelle: Thanks. They were great. Didn't last very long in this household as they are a great favourite. Actually I think you're right. There does seem like a bit of frying is running rampant in the blogosphere.

michele: Thanks. I'd like to see what the recipe is for your samosa filling :)

Melissa CookingDiva said...

They look delicious, great job!

If you add chopped boiled egg, raisins, capers (optional), olives and ground beef or chicken---you will have a tasty filling for empanadas :) Or, as a friend did a couple of days ago...she wrapped the filling in whole wheat filo dough and baked them! They looked delicious too---Here are a couple of photos:

Tania said...

I love samosas! I've never thought of preparing them myself, but you make them sound so easy to make. The veggie version sounds particularly appealing. Yum! Do you serve them with any sauces?

Nerissa said...

Melissa: Thanks! Ahh... so that's what goes in empanadas. I love pocket food! Baked sounds good too. Healthier ;-) They look healthier too.

Tania: Me too! I thought twice before trying them too but with pre-made wrappers they are so much easier! Ben doesn't use sauces but I like them with mango chutney, yoghurt or maybe lime pickle.

Saffron said...

wow! I've never seen samosa wrappers in the store. I kinda improvised and made it with puff pastry sheets. Where did you find the wrappers? are they frozen or fresh?

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