Friday, February 19, 2016

Vegetable Samosas

So I love Indian food. I haven't always been familiar with it and honestly only since meeting my husband have I truly grown to love it. (Always liked it just had to deal with someone who thought it all tasted the same, would make the house smell and the flavour from one thing gets into everything else...*sigh* )

Anyways as husband explains it - England is like the home of Indian food (I don't get it but that's what I'm told) and despite this fact when we visited England we actually never went out for Indian food.  We do have some favourite Indian food spots here in the city and Samosas have always been one of the things I love so when I came across this recipe in Canadian Living The Ultimate Cookbook I was very excited and knew I had to try making it. 

These little pastry filled jewels are not hard by any imagination but they are a time consuming process. The entire thing took me well a long time (I was tag teaming two recipes) but I would say in total it would be a good hours worth of work so next time I would double the recipe and make more of them for probably not that much more time.   The most time consuming part of it was the filling of the Samosas so I figure if I can prepare everything next time and rope in some help for that I should be good to go.  The pastry is very similar to making a puff pastry so I treated it like that and had a good result. I learned the very important part of making sure the dough is sealed ALL the way around. But other than that this was a big success - so much so I didn't get many pictures and the monkey managed to try and sneak some every day for lunch and then would grab them out of the fridge for a snack - they didn't last long at all! I served these with the two chutneys I made (see recipes here) as opposed to the Cilantro Chutney in the book. 

The last point I'll make here is about kitchen equipment - buy thermometers and use them appropriately.  I have 4 of them:
  1. Instant read (for checking water temps when baking or meats like chicken or steak);
  2. Oven/ BBQ safe one (the probe goes into the meat and then the read out is on the side of the oven or BBQ - good for meats that have longer cook times (roasts, chicken, turkey) I always use them to make sure my meats are done and not over done;
  3. Candy thermometer - because I do with work sugars and such - I know I can use this in oil but because it's glass I don't like using it there and prefer the one that has the metal base for deep frying; and,
  4. Deep Fry thermometer - now I figure I can use my candy one in the fryer but the bottoms and entire thing is set up differently so I like using them for their specific purposes. 

Vegetable Samosas
Vegetable Samosas
Dough2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup milk
Filling2 cups diced peeled potatoes (about 3 medium sized)
1/2 cup diced carrots (about 1 medium)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp Fennel seeds
1 tspCumin Seeds
1 tspBrown Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp coriander sees
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 onion chopped (I diced)
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Vegetable oil for deep frying

  1. In a bowl with a pastry blender (or food processor which I don't like) combine flour, cumin seeds and salt; pulse or cut in butter until in fine crumbs. Stir in milk until ball beings to form. Press into ditch, wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  2. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook potatoes and carrots until tender (about 10 min) drain.
  3. While potatoes and carrots are cooking, in large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook fennel, cumin and mustard seeds; turmeric coriander and fenugreek seeds; and cayenne pepper just until cumin seeds begin to pop (about 1 min0
  4. Add onion, garlic, ginger and salt; cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in potatoes mixture and peas.  Add lemon juice and cilantro - stir to combine well and let cool. 
  5. Cut dough into 12 pieces; form each into a flat round. On floured surface roll out each piece into 6-inch circle; cut in half. (I just rolled out the entire sheet and used a large cookie cutter to make circles which I then cut in half - this made smaller samosas and more of them).  
  6. Working with 1 piece at a time, moisten half of the cut edge with water. Form cone shape by overlapping edges by 1/4 inch (Think of making what looks like a sugar cone - making sure the bottom of the cone is sealed.)
  7. Fill with 1 tbsp potato mixture (I just filled with as much as i could fit and still close the dough). Moisten top inside edges of the pastry; press to seal - make sure ALL SEAMS ARE SEALED. 
  8. Trim jagged edges of pastry; crimp edge with fork. 
  9. Pour enough oil into deep saucepan or pot to come 2 inches up the side (I just use my wonderful deep fryer). Heat oil until 350F (again I would buy a deep-fryer thermometer - I have about 4 different kinds of thermometers in my kitchen totally worth it). 
  10. Work in batches, deep-frying the samosas, turning often until golden brown (about 4 minutes per bath; I would rescue them from the oil and then onto a paper towel-lined baking sheet. 
  11. If you prefer to bake these (why? I'm mean just why?) 425F for 15 minutes).

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