Happy Ramadan everyone and I hope this month will be one of blessings, peace and tolerance for all of us. Just so everyone knows I absolutely love Ramadan! When I was a kid this was my favorite month, all of us trying to put our best efforts to follow the teachings of Islam, practicing self-control, self-discipline, sacrifice and empathy for the less fortunate, trying to be generous and to do more charity. All the elders appreciating our efforts and telling us that we will get rewarded by Allah, such a beautiful month ending with a huge celebration called Eid-ul-fitar. All of it felt so special, I guess I still feel like that and it makes me happy.
Now, if you have ever lived in Pakistan you know that there are certain things that are a must at your suhoor (pre-fast meal) and iftaar (when you break your fast) table. Dates, pakoray( fritters), fruit chaat (fruit salad), Rooh-Afza (a refreshing herbal drink), chai and Samosay and i can go on and on with this. Pronounced: Sum-o-say, these are my favorite indulgence into deep fried food. The crispy pastry and the yummy soft and warm filling on the inside.. Yum yumm….. No words to explain how good this is. It’s interesting how these triangle shaped pastries are popular all around the globe. When I was reading about these I was surprised to find out that they originated from the Arab peninsula. I thought this was a snack that belonged to the sub-continent, I felt a bit betrayed by this but nonetheless we have made our own versions of the samosa, I can live with that:p.
You can find these at almost every other bakery and food store with lots of different fillings, but I love making these at home. I can make a bunch at once and freeze them for later use. They don’t go bad for more than a month or two, but I’m not so sure about that since they never last that long at my home. Lets make the pastry first, then the filling and then how to get the classic triangle shape.
Makes: 20-24 (depending on the size)
- 2 1/2 cup Maida or all purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons Ghee/oil
- Take flour in a bowl and add salt and ghee/oil. Now using your fingertips, mix them together till they look like bread crumbs.
- Add a little water at a time and mix so that everything comes together into a ball.
- Knead for 2-4 minutes, but don’t make it too soft. This dough should be a little hard.
- Put a tiny bit of oil on your hands and spread it on the dough.
- Cover and let it sit for 1-2 hours.
- 4 large potatoes
- A pinch of turmeric
- 1 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chilli pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp crushed cumin
- 1/2 tsp crushed coriander seeds
- 1/4 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp chaat masala
- 1/4 tsp Ajwain/Carom seeds
- 2 tsp chopped cilantro
- 1 chopped green chilli
- Boil water in a pan and add a pinch of turmeric. Cook potatoes in this water until completely done. Let cool.
- Mash these potatoes but make sure to leave them a little chunky.
- Add all the ingredients and mix well. Keep aside.
- This is just a basic potato filling that I love, but you can also make a filling with ground chicken or ground beef.
SHAPING THE SAMOSA:
You might need to make a paste to seal the samosa. Just add 1/2 cup water and 2 tablespoon of flour. keep aside in a bowl or you could just use water.
- Take the dough out of the container and divide in two. Place one half back int he container so it does not dry out.
- Take a small portion of dough and make it into a smooth ball.
- I usually make all the balls and cover them with a kitchen towel. It makes everything a bit easier.
- Roll out the ball into a round. The rolled out dough should be thin but not so thin that it starts to rip apart. If you make the dough too thick it won’t cook on the inside. So basically it should neither be too thick or too thin. Practice making a few first.
- Now make a cut through the centre of the pastry with a knife or a cutter.
- Place the straight edge of the pastry and fold it inside. Take the opposite end and join both of them in the center to make a cone shape. Now use the paste we made earlier to seal these two edges together.
- Keep your hand on the inside to make a pocket.
- Stuff this with the potato filling. Close the bottom round edge of the dough and seal it. Look at the images above to get a complete idea. Make sure it is sealed well on all the edges.
- Make all Samosas in this manner, and place in a plate with a piece of parchment paper in between to keep them from sticking. You can fry them all or freeze for future use.
- Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. The oil should be hot, you can check by adding a small piece of dough. If it bubbles up and comes to the top then your oil is ready for frying.
- Place a batch of 4 – 5 Samosas at a time. Cook one side till golden, flip and let it cook on the other side. We cook these on medium flame so that the samosa will cook all the way through.
- Drain on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
- Serve warm.
TIPS & TRICKS:
- Let the Samosas sit for an hour before you fry them.
- Make sure to seal all the edges well or else they might open when you deep fry these.
- You can also bake the Samosas if you want a healthier version. Pre-heat the oven to 350F and bake for 25-30 minutes or till they turn golden.
As an afterthought, I think I can eat more than 5 of these with a cup of Chai. Doesn’t that sound delightful. I hope you will enjoy these as much as I do. Now I’m going to let my kids attack these.
Aa jao bachon “Samosay” tayyar hain !!!!