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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Samosa

Samosa is one of the most popular Indian appetizer or snack I can think of. The traditional Indian samosa has a wheat flour shell and a potato stuffing. As I think of this recipe, my mind wanders back to those wonderful childhood evenings when we were allowed to feast on samosa instead of eating dinner. This is a recipe which can be enjoyed fried or baked and I must say that the baked version does not induce the guilt that the fried version does.


Ingredients

For the cover
2 cups nbleached wheat flour/maida
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 - 1 cup water- enough to form the dough

For the stuffing
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic - grated/chopped fine
2-3 potatoes - boiled and cut into small cubes
1/2 cup peas (fresh/frozen and thawed)
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp corriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala (this can be reduced if you dont want it too spicy)
green chillies to taste - chopped fine
1 tsp mango powder/amchur
salt to taste



Method

For the pastry shell

Mix all the ingredients except for the water. Add a little water at a time and knead the dough. The dough should not be too soft/loose. Use a little oil to smooth out the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes. Roll out the dough into circles about 6-8 inches in diameter and about 2-3 mm in thickness. One circle will be used to create two samosas. Cut along the diameter to create two half circles from each one. Each half circle needs to be turned into a cone shape while assembling the samosa. Use a paste of rice flour and water to glue the sides/seams of the cone leaving the bottom open. Cover you dough with a damp cloth at all times so that it doesn't try out.

For the stuffing

Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds to it. Once the seeds start to crackle, add the onion, garlic and green chillies. Fry the onion till its transluscent and add the corriander powder, garam masala. Fry this for a minute and add the potaotes and the peas. Add the salt and mango powder. Mix this and let it cook for about 5 minutes. The stuffing is ready

Assembling the samosa
Create the cones using the half circle pastry shells as described above. Put enough stuffing in the samosa, so that you can seal the open end without the samosa bursting at the seams. Assemble all your samosas before starting the frying/baking process.

Cooking the samosa
Heat the oil, test it with a small piece of the dough. If it comes up almost immediately after you put it in the oil, the oil is hot enough to fry your samosas. Fry a few samosas at a time. If you want to go with the lower calorie option, assemble all your samosas on a cookie sheet/ baking sheet and you can brush them/spray them with some oil. Even if oil is not used, the samosas turn out very crispy.

Enjoy them hot with some mint and tamarind chutney.



Tips

If using fresh peas, boil them in water (with a little salt) for 5 minutes or till the peas soften up a bit. Immediately drain the water and add the peas to a cold water and shock them to prevent further cooking. Use a damp cloth to cover your dough as well as the assembled cones and samosas so that the pastry shell doesn't dry out before you start the baking/frying process. The firmer the kneaded dough, the less oily your fried samosas will be.

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