Yes, so there’s a bit of a trend between this post and my last recipe. Joe and I happen to be rather fond of “pockets” these days, so we’ve gone from enjoying pierogi to samosas, and are scheming to ourselves about what our next “ethnic pocket” adventure will be! As my dear friend Robin commented on my pierogi recipe, it is pretty impressive how so many cultures have their own type of savory pocket food, and Joe & I are on a quest to try them all! (Robin, apparently I’m gonna have to find some yak meat to try making momos! Do you have a recipe?)
I’m writing this from the cozy comfort of our little cabin, with my husky dog Sulrana curled up next to my feet. It’s about 33 degrees below zero outside, so we’re both happy to be indoors enjoying the woodstove! It’s been hanging between 30 and 40 below since Monday night, and isn’t supposed to improve until after the weekend at least. Hello interior Alaskan winter! This girl is just hoping that it warms up enough to do the seven hour drive out to Kenny Lake for Thanksgiving at my parents’.
But anyways, back to the samosas. There’s a bit of a story here. Joe & I were given this recipe way back in April, by Joe’s brother & sister-in-law, Tim & Nanette. On our long-ago drive up to Alaska, we spent the first night of our adventure with them, and the plan was that we would all make samosas for dinner. However, the weather had a different agenda, and Joe and I were forced to pull over at a roadside gas station/pizza place and wait out a severe storm and tornado warning for a couple hours. We reluctantly ordered a veggie pizza with no cheese; after waiting about half an hour, the waitress came over to inform us the cook had dropped our pizza on the floor, so she was making us a new one, but we wouldn’t have to pay. Uhhh, okay then! When we finally got our pizza, I decided it was a good thing we didn’t have to pay for it as we gnawed on the tough crust and picked at the few veggies. By the time we did get to Tim & Nanette’s, it was late, and we got to eat the samosas that they had already made while we waited out the storm, which were infinitely better than our emergency pizza!
When we left the next morning to keep driving, Tim & Nanette sent us off with the samosa recipe, and baggies of the more hard to find spices that we would need to make them. And so, yes, after talking about them all summer, we finally got around to making the samosas last week. And then we made them again after two days. They are so good! When we made them the first night, we had a friend over for dinner, and found out that three people makes for a very efficient samosa-making assembly line. But, even if you don’t have three people, they come together pretty quickly, and are well worth the extra effort!
There are a few specific spices that you may not have on hand needed, dried mango powder being the trickiest to come by. You can easily buy just a bit of all the other spices in the bulk spice section of a grocery store – much more cost-effective than buying jars of each! Thanks, Tim & Nanette, for the spices, the recipe, and your hospitality!!
1 1/2 cups flour (we used mostly wheat, with great results)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp carom seeds (celery seeds)
3 Tbsp oil (or Ghee)
about 1/4 cup water
7-8 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
3/4 cup boiled peas
2 green chilies, Serrano or Indian
1 1/2 inch ginger root
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dry mango powder
salt to taste
handful of cashew nuts
2 Tbsp coriander leaves (cilantro), finely chopped
oil for frying
flour and water paste for sealing edges of samosas (about 1 Tbsp flour and 2-3 Tbsp water mixed well)
Finely chop the ginger and green chilies. Have all of your ingredients measured, at hand and ready to go in the pan, because the filling comes together quickly! In a wok (or, if you don’t have one, in a cast iron skillet as I used) heat some olive oil. Add the cumin seeds, and when they sputter, add the ginger and green chilies. Fry for a few seconds. Add the cashews and fry for about 15-20 seconds more, then add all the spices except salt and fry for 10 seconds. Add the mashed potatoes, green peas and salt. Mix well. Fry the potatoes on low heat for 5-10 minutes. Add the chopped coriander leaves. Set aside.
Mix the flour, oil, salt and carom seeds. Add a little water at a time and knead to a stiff dough. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and set aside for about 15-20 minutes. Divide the dough into 8 round portions, and keep them covered while not working with them. Roll each into a perfect round of about 5 inches, but not too thin (this is what the recipe says, mine were definitely not quite perfect, and still turned out fine! just aim for a circle….). Cut the circle into two halves. Take one of the half circles, dip your index finger into the water and flour paste and apply it to the straight edge of the semi-circle. Hold the semi-circle in your hand. Fold the straight edge, and then bring the watered edges together. Seal the watered edges so that you now have a small triangular cone-like pocket.
Stuff the wrapper with the potato filling and then seal the upper edge, using some of the flour and water paste. Repeat this process for the rest of the dough. Heat oil in a wok on low heat (or, again, in a cast iron). Add samosas to oil gently, I was prepared for them to sputter at me, but they didn’t really, so that made life easier. After about 5-7 minutes, or when browned, turn the samosas over. Fry until both sides are golden brown. Serve hot! They’re supposed to be eaten with chutneys, but Joe and I didn’t quite get to those recipes yet…. We had ours with a red lentil dahl, and it was a wonderful meal!