Some more samosas!
One of the tastiest treats to grace to awaiting palate with is a deep-fried treat called Samosa!
Samosas are found everywhere from Asia, through India all the way around the Middle East and ending in the Mediterranean. It is usually deep fried but in places like In Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan Borat and family always bake them….(very weight conscious there). Myself, I have no problem dropping these little buggers in a bubbling cauldron of oil and cooking them until golden and crispy!
Fillings vary from region/country and can contain anything from ground lamb with cinnamon and raisin (middle east), to curried vegetable or curried beef (India) and the other day I had some extra dough and filled them with bananas in a ginger custard and served it with home made vanilla ice-cream!! YUM
Not to bore you, I wanted to give you a very brief history because as with anything that’s good, samosas have been around for a bloody long time so hang it there, this should be pretty painless…..
The samosa has been guzzled down as a popular snack in the Indian Subcontinent for centuries. As far as where they originated, the closest example there is is from central Asia (where they are known as samosa) prior to the 10th century, that’s right they are OLLLLDDDDD. Some guy with a very hard name Abolfazl Beyhaqi (995-1077), an Iranian historian has mentioned it in his history in his equally hard to pronounce book- Tarikh-e Beyhaghi.
It was introduced to the Indian subcontinent in the 13th or 14th century by traders from the region (as what a lot of other fantastic stuff on the silk road and big trade routes).
Amir Khusro (1253–1325), a scholar and the royal poet of the Delhi Sultanate, wrote in around 1300 that the princes and nobles enjoyed the “samosa prepared from meat, ghee, onion and so on”. No mention as to if they liked them deep fried or to their waist size though!
Ibn Battuta, (sorry about all of these names), the 14th century traveller and explorer, describes a meal at the court of Muhammad bin Tughluq where the samushak or sambusak, a small pie stuffed with minced meat, almonds, pistachio, walnuts and spices, was served before the third course, this by the way is a fantastic combo you should try.
The samosa was brought to India, where it was made famous by Muslim traders and soldiers. They described small, crisp, mince-filled samosas were easy to make around campfires during night halts, then conveniently packed into saddle bags as snacks for the next day’s journey.
NOTE: if you look into the history of a lot of pastry filled items, (cornish pastie, Pide, Pie, Pirogi etc), you will find that they came about as a convenient travel food.
So, I wanted to through this recipe your way as the other day I was making them with the top notch samosa maker here in Mkoma bay, Royda…..She can roll these samosas together like nobodies bussiness and the folding is the hardest part. We made beef ones and vegetable ones but feel free to fill them with whatever you like! I like to serve them with spicy Pili-pili sauce and chutney.
Enjoy, have fun and eat well!
For the Dough:
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoon oil
6 tablespoon water
For Potato Stuffing:
5 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice and boiled until soft
4 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup green peas, cooked
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
1 hot green chili (finely chopped)
3 tablespoon green coriander (cilantro), chopped
1.5 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
Oil for deep frying
For the dough:
Mix flour and salt in a bowl.
Add 4 tablespoons oil and rub until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Slowly add about 6 tablespoons water and knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until it is smooth.
Rub dough with oil. Cover it and set aside for 30 minutes or longer.
Potato stuffing for Samosa
Boil, cool and peel the potatoes. Dice it into 1/4 inch size.
Heat some oil in a wok or large frying pan.
Carefully put the onion. Stir fry until golden brown over a medium heat.
Add peas, ginger, green chili, and fresh coriander (cilantro). Add diced potatoes, salt and all spices.
Mix and cook on low heat for 3-4 minutes. Do not forget to stir while cooking. Mash the mixture check seasoning and set aside.
Knead the dough again. Divide it into about 8 balls.
Roll it into flat round shape with about 6-7 inches in diameter.
Heat a large flat frying pan or a samosa/tortilla griddle until hot. Cook the dough on both sides until small bubbles appear. Do not over-cook.
Cut it into long strips.
Make a flour and water mix (it should be thick this will be a type of glue)
Fold the dough at the bottom into a rough triangle, fold the strip over the triangle and turnover. You should have a cone shaped pocket, make sure there is no hole at the bottom of the cone.
Fill the cone with about 2.5 tablespoons of the potato mixture.
Fold the dough over to seal the triangle and brush the upper part of the strip liberally with the flour glue
Fold over again finishing the triangle shape, make sure there are no holes and the dough is well suck together.
Heat about 2 inches of oil for deep frying over a medium-low flame. (You may use a wok, Indian karhai or any other utensil you seem fit)
When the oil is hot, carefully put in as many samosas as it fits. Fry slowly, turning the samosas until they are golden brown and crisp.
Drain excess oil and serve hot.