Appetizers, Comfort food, Indian, Savory

Shortcut Samosas

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I have been trying to master this recipe for a while.  The filling is fairly easy and thanks to several skype conversations with my Mom, I think I nailed it.  But the dough is another issue altogether.  For some reason, making the dough to make the shell for samosas has been a battle.  I have also tried using pie dough and phyllo dough as substitutes, and it did not taste the same.  Recently, I saw a friend from college post a recipe for cocktail samosas and I got inspired.  She used vegan egg roll wrappers and they looked great on her website.  I tried it with my mother’s filling recipe and it was a great hit.  So, after many years of struggling, here is my shortcut recipe for samosas.

Ingredients:

2, 15oz can of diced potatoes

1, 12oz bag of frozen cauliflower florets

1 Tbsp of vegetable or canola oil

1/2 tsp of cumin seeds

1 Tbsp of minced or grated ginger

1 and 1/4 tsp of cumin powder

1 and 1/4 tsp of coriander powder

1 tsp of chili powder

1/4 tsp of cayenne powder

1/2 tsp of sugar

3/4 tsp of salt

1 package of egg-roll wraps (I used Nasoya)

Additional vegetable oil for frying

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Method:

In a deep skillet, heat oil and add in the cumin seeds.  Once they start to bubble-up, add in the veggies.

 

After about 5 minutes add all the spices, stir thoroughly, and continue to cook on medium-high heat.  You will need to stir the mixture often.

 

After about 10 minutes, you will notice that the veggies are very soft.  Now, as you stir, start mushing the veggies with the back of the spoon.  You want the mixture to resemble a paste.

Continue to mush and stir till the mixture starts to come off clean from the edges and bottom of te pan.  If you feel like the mixture is sticking to the skillet, reduce the heat and add a little bit more oil.

 

Cool the mixture to room temperature, before you start assembling the samosas.

Take one sheet of the egg-roll wrap and cut it down the middle.  You will notice that the wrap has a slight rectangular shape, so cut it along the “long” side.  Make sure the remaining wraps are tightly covered–if they dry out they will break during the folding process.

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Use the tip of your finger or a small pastry brush and brush the edges of the but egg-roll wrap with water.  the water will help the edges stick to one another during the folding process.

Take 1 tsp of the filling and place it in the bottom of the cut egg-roll wrap.

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Now, start folding from the bottom right-side, tucking the filling in.  You will want to fold it like a flag—neat and tight.  Refer to the pictures below.

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Once you have your samosa ready, you can either freeze them or proceed straight to the frying step.

 

Heat vegetable oil, on high, in a small pot.  I like to use a small sauce-pot so that I use less oil.  I fill the bottom 0.5 inches of the pot with vegetable oil.  You can use any oil that has a high smoke point.

 

Once the oil starts to smoke, reduce the heat to medium and let the oil cool slightly.  Then gently release the samosa into the oil.  Fry each side for about 30 seconds or until the shell is golden brown and puffed.  If the oil is too hot, the shells will burn immediately.

 

If the oil cools down too much, it will take longer for the shells to get golden and you will end up with soggy and greasy samosas.  You want the oil to be medium hot so that the frying process is quick!

 

Serve piping hot.  They are good as it is, but you can always have it with a chili dipping sauce or mint chutney.  I will not judge if you even use ketchup!

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Classics, Lifestyle

Short Notice Tea Party

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In true “Bengali” fashion, my aunt and uncle informed me that they would be visiting for tea.  They had not seen me in a very long time, and now that the snow has melted, that felt a more comfortable in making the drive.  Don’t get me wrong, I love having guests and I was extremely happy to see them.  I only wish I got a little bit more notice so that I could whip up some home made treats.  So, with about 24 hrs to spare and lots of weekend errands to run, I turned to store bought treats.  On the menu was Darjeeling tea from India, Biscoff and Shortbread cookies, cucumber and ham finger sandwiches, chicken salad canapes, and, last but not the least, vegetable samosas—a Bengali tea without samosas is simply incomplete !!  This was also a great opportunity to break out my Fortnum & Mason tea service.  All in all, it turned out to be lovely afternoon !