Choose Your Own Adventure – Samosas Edition
First order of business, one of my former roommates has started up an entertaining food/general hilariousness blog that I highly recommend. Ok, on to new business (I feel like I’m running a meeting on Mad Men).
My weekends follow a relatively similar structure. On Saturday I loaf around and contribute very little to the world and on Sunday I bake bread, contributing slightly more should I decide to share. So when 5 PM rolls around on Sunday (yes I eat dinner early like a 70 year old) my dinner choices seem like a choose your own adventure book.
3) After baking bread most of the day you are overburdened and shortly thereafter die of dysentery.
Last Sunday was one of the few times I went with option 2. I live across the street from an Indian restaurant that is so good I haven’t been there since I moved in last August. It’s not completely terrible but there are better ones around campus and as tempting as a ‘by the pound’ buffet is, I usually just stroll past and enjoy the smells. I am however a big fan of samosas and stumbled across a relatively quick recipe for them that I wanted to give a shot.
I tinkered with this recipe quite a bit and since getting swept up in the Game of Thrones excitement I’ve started calling a bastardized version of anything a ‘Jon Snow’, so I think you could more accurately call these Jon Snow Indian Food Pockets rather than authentic Samosas. I opted to bake instead of deep fry them (part health reasons, part I have very little vegetable oil at the moment and did not anticipate a Hanukkah type miracle in which the oil lasted for 8 samosas when it was only supposed to last for one), struggled mightily to shape them properly, and mixed up the recipe amounts due to my love of onions.
Boil up two potatoes and dice up an onion or two (I will always choose more onions). Measure out 1/2 teaspoon each of mustard seeds and cumin seeds and a full tablespoon of coriander seeds. If you’re feeling adventurous arrange them in a happy face like I did.
While the potatoes are boiling you can make the dough. Take 2 cups AP flour, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, a pinch of salt (which I believe is technically 1/8th teaspoon, so maybe 2 pinches), and enough water to bring the dough together. I used around 1 cup, but just start with a smaller amount and add until it all kneads together nicely. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 10 minutes. I had trouble getting the dough to hold a shape and think having it a bit colder would have helped, so if time allows give it maybe 30 minutes in the fridge.
Drop your spices into a hot oiled pan and let them cook for about 2 minutes. Next toss in your onions and shortly after your potatoes. How long you let this all cook is really up to you based on how well done you want your onions, I took about 5 minutes. Take it off the head and mix in 1/2 cup of frozen peas. Set the pan aside while you work on rolling out your dough.
Take your dough out and divide it into four pieces. Roll each piece out to a diameter of roughly 8 inches and cut in half to get two semicircles.
This is the point at which I failed miserably. What you should do is a create a cone with the dough (putting water around the edge helps create a seal). Holding it like an ice cream cone, fill it with your potato-onion-pea deliciousness and pinch the top close. My dough was a bit too stretchy and would not hold this shape so I ended up with something shaped more like empanadas. Here’s a video that I used (unsuccessfully) to learn the right way to fold/fill them. Here’s my most samosa-y looking one before baking.
- 2 large potatoes
- 1-2 onions
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 t mustard seeds
- 1/2 t cumin seeds
- 1 T coriander seeds
- 2 C AP flour
- 1 T vegetable oil
- 1/4 t salt
- 1 C water (approx.)
Knead ingredients together and gradually add water (may need more than 1 C) until all flour is incorporated. Refrigerate at least 10 minutes. When ready, separate dough into 4 pieces and roll out into 8 inch circles. Cut in half and form each piece of dough into a cone shape. Fill with 2 spoons of filling and close. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or deep fry in vegetable oil for 8-10 minutes until crisp and golden brown.