RECIPE #373, DAY #544
ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Savory Pastries with Spicy Potato Filling”/”Aloo Samosa,” from Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Cooking*
TIMING: At least 1 hour
DIFFICULTY: Fairly difficult
TOOLS: Fryer or Dutch Oven, lots of frying oil, tongs or fry basket, drying rack, rolling pin, etc.
COOK TYPE: Stovetop and fryer/Dutch Oven
HEALTH: Well, they are homemade and are filled with fragrant spiced and vegetables, and are meant to be served with an herb chutney. But they are white flour, fried. You win some, you lose some.
EXPERIENCE: I have made samosa before, not the mention pasties. They seemed like a lot of work for the appetizer to a four-course Indian supper club, but in the end I couldn’t pick any other appetizers. I also thought about ordering them pre-made somehwere, but that’s not really in the spirit of supper clubbing. I just trimmed elsewhere in the menu and planned some time to make these.
The filling goes together easily. That’s not the issue. The dough, in fact, is not hard to make (although it does take time). The problem is stuffing the things. The dough is difficult to roll out and even harder to close up. Plus, it just takes forever to make even 1 batch. (I also think I under-cooked mine a bit.)
They tasted really yummy, especially with the Mint Chutney (which can be made ahead).
NOTES: Shoot for a little browner than mine. I under-cooked them.
OK, so you are supposed to cut each dough round in half and then stuff and seal into tiny, pretty samosas. I found this beyond my current ability. I therefore left the rounds whole and made samosa 2x the size. That is how I wrote it into the recipe, as well (which means this makes 16 samosas instead of 32 small). Feel free to try to one-up me on this.
You can save for a bit, then re-warm in the oven to serve hot.
- In a pot of salted water, boil 2 pounds peeled and diced Yukon Gold potatoes until tender. Drain and set aside to dry out.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour and 1 teaspoon salt. By rubbing together your hands like you’re greedy, work in 4 tablespoons non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening. Mix in 6 tablespoons ice water, then more–a tablespoon at a time–until dough sticks together.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean flat surface and rub a little cooking oil on the palms of your hands. Knead dough for 10 minutes. Wrap it up in plastic wrap and set in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat 4 tablespoons safflower oil over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons coriander seed and cook 15 seconds. Add 1/2 cup minced onion and 1 1/2 teaspoons grated ginger and cook until light brown. Add potatoes and 1/2 cup peas and cook, scraping at bottom of pan, until somewhat browned.
- Add 2 minced green chilies, 1 1/4 teaspoon garam masala, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon salt. Taste for seasonings and set aside.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and place back on your work surface. Knead for 1 minute, then divide dough into 16 pieces and roll each piece into a nice ball. Keep the balls covered with a damp towel while you work with each ball.
- Flour 1 ball, then roll into a 6-inch round. Place stuffing on 1 side of the round, then dampen edges with water, using your fingertip. Fold over, seal, and set to the side. (Do not cover at this point.) Repeat until done.
- Heat several inches peanut or grapeseed oil in a Dutch oven or fryer until 350F. Add enough samosas not to crowd the pan and fry about 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove to a drying rack. Repeat until all cooked and serve hot.
Serve with mint chutney. Cauliflower fritters would work well alongside, with the same chutney. Mango lassis are also nice here.
LEFTOVER IDEAS: The leftover potato filling made a wonderful breakfast hash, cooked like you would a giant hash brown and served with fried eggs, catsup (or that mint chutney) and orange juice. Leftover samosas (what?!?) can be frozen and re-heated in the oven, but you’ll either want to freeze a baggie of chutney along with it (and defrost in hot water) or have a fresh chutney on hand.
*Recipe changed from the original.