Weekday Vegetarian: Samosas


Photo: Rebecca Vandevelde

I love Indian food and I love making it because the spices make your kitchen smell amazing while it cooks. I didn't get that experience this time, because this is one of the meals that Rebecca Vandevelde made for me. What I missed in aroma was certainly made up in taste.

Don't be alarmed by the length of the recipe here. I've made samosas before and each component is a pretty simple thing to make. You'll just have to give youself a little bit of time for it all to come together. You can certainly make these ahead of time as Rebecca did. I just reheated them in the oven at 350F for about 15 minutes and then served them with the chutney which was room temperature.

This was a fantastic chutney, as good as you would get in any Indian restaurant. It's really tangy and makes your mouth pucker a little bit, which was wonderful. I'm going to make some of this for myself and then contemplate the number of ways I can use it.

This recipe is from India's Vegetarian Cooking by Monisha Bharadwaj.
For the filling

1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 onions
2 tbsp toasted and ground cumin
2 tbsp toasted and ground coriander
1 tbsp chili flakes
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp cracked black pepper
6-8 medium potatoes
1 rutabaga, diced
1-2 cups frozen peas

1. In a pan cook onions over a low heat until they are caramelized. Add spices and stir to coat.

2. Meanwhile, cook potatoes and rutabaga in a pot of water until just soft.

3. When onions are done, add potatoes and rutabaga and saute until lightly browned on the outside and covered in spices. Add 1-2 peas and leave heat on until peas are just defrosted. Leave to cool while preparing dough.

For the dough

1 cup all purpose flour
2 Tsp salt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup warm water

1. Add liquid to a well in the centre of the flour. Combine and knead for about 5 minutes or until smooth. Leave to rest 30 minutes.

2. Divide dough into 12 equal balls. On floured surface, roll out each ball to a 6-inch circle; cut in half. Working with 1 piece at a time, moisten half of the cut edge with water. Form cone shape by overlapping cut edges by 1/4 inch. Fill with rounded 1 tbsp potato mixture. Moisten top inside edges of pastry; press to seal. Trim jagged edges. Crimp with fork.

3. Bake samosas in 425F oven for 15 minutes.

For Tamarind Chutney

1 onion, finely diced
5 cloves garlic
1 Tsp black mustard seeds, crushed
2 Tsp chili flakes, or 1-2 crushed dried chilies
1 Tsp cumin, toasted and ground
1 Tbsp brown sugar (preferably jaggery or demerera)
1/4 cup tamarind pulp
1/4 cup hot water
1 inch piece of ginger, either diced finely or shaved with a microplane
1/2 of a tomato, finely diced

1. In a pot caramelize the onions, adding the garlic halfway through. Add the spices to make a paste. Add brown sugar, hot water and tamarind.

2. Simmer and stir until it becomes a thick sauce, and reduce to the consistency of runny jam. As it cools, shave the ginger and dice the tomato and stir in. Serve cool. Will keep for at least two weeks, and will taste better and become hotter every day that it sits.

More Indian Recipes
Frugal Vegetarian Eating: Chickpeas and Spinach
Quick Spicy Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry
Make and Easy Indian Dal

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