Sunday, 3 April 2011

Making Samosas

Samosas - savoury patties from Indian cuisine are a fantastic as a snack, starter or part of a main meal. The only downside is that they can be very greasy (as they're deep fried) and are often soggy when not served fresh. 
I learned this recipe at a cooking course I've been attending. They are simple, less fatty without reducing the taste and a tasty snack to serve with a beer.
For the filling you will need:
50g butter
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp fresh ginger
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
2 finely chopped potatoes
1 diced onion
1 diced carrot
200g frozen peas

Ok, so there's quite a few ingredients. The good news is that all you need to do is put all of these ingredients in a pan (melt the butter first) and cook for 1 minute. After that time just add 150ml water. Leave the mixture to simmer for around 15 minutes - until the mixture has thickened and the vegetables are soft and cooked through. Leave to cool slightly.

Next, the pastry. This recipe calls for Filo Pastry. Making this pastry is simply not an option! To make it well you really need specialist machinery. Just buy it ready made. Take one sheet and lightly brush with melted butter (this helps to keep it supple as filo dries out in minutes). 

Use a very sharp knife and cut the pastry into 3 strips (the recipe says 4 strips, but I found that this made 
them too small and fiddly). Spoon some of the mixture on to on one of the strips. Fold the corner to make a triangle shape. Keep folding the pastry in triangles until you get to the bottom. Brush the last fold of pastry with melted butter to help it stick to the samosa.

This technique takes a little practice and I had a few odd shapes! To make the perfect samosa, you just need to work slowly and carefully. Make sure each fold gives you a clean triangle shape. It is actually a very therapeutic job and easy enough once you get the hang of it.
Brush all over with butter and bake for 15mins, or until golden brown at around 180 deg.

The results: 
They made perfect samosas! Very crispy, fresh tasting and lightly spiced.
However, they did not last well. Putting them in the fridge or covering with clingfilm makes them go soggy as the pastry is so thin. I'd recommend cooking them just before you want to serve them. 
I'll definitely be making them again - if for no other reason that, served with a cold beer, they make my boyfriend a happy chappy! 

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