A hot samosa on a cold winter night
Samosas and winters go hand-in-hand; so use my recipe and enjoy the delicious savoury treats.
It's that time of the year again – the elusive Karachi winter is finally here so enjoy it while it lasts. Dig into your storage and dust out the oh-so-soft blankets, heaters, leather jackets, cozy mufflers and some downright crazy head-gear.
This season brings with it the joys of eating piping hot food that would otherwise make you perspire. You seem to notice a sudden increase in the roadside samosay-wala's clientele waiting in line (a polite way of referring to the mob that surrounds his stand), for this mouth-watering - albeit a bit unhygienic- delicacy you so love, becomes a pain. Ironically, standing in the warmth of a kitchen becomes bearable now, with stoves running and irresistible aromas enshrouding you.
The modern-day samosa can be traced back to Central Asia more than ten centuries ago, but after its introduction in the Indian subcontinent, this phenomenon spread like wildfire, reaching all corners of the globe. Forgive me for being opinionated, but the beauty of the samosa lies not in its shape; it's in the myriad of fillings that it can be stuffed with. From beef to chicken, potatoes to coconuts, sweet to savoury, every samosa has its own unique taste and texture and is used as a snack at numerous occasions.
Samosas and winters go hand-in-hand; the very first bite sends a warm, tingly feeling coursing down your veins, and makes you overcome the bitterest of gales. What most people are unaware of is that you can make samosas easily (easily being the key-word here) at home, and ensure what your family's having is hygienic and will not be detrimental to their health. Food is an integral part of our culture and so is cooking; involve your husband, your wife, your kids, your parents, etc so they too can share this satisfying culinary experience with you.
Let's dive right into the intricacies of creating tempting vegetable samosa – the most popular variation available:
Ingredients for envelopes
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp thyme (ajwain)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp ghee (or vegetable shortening)
- Water – to knead
Ingredients for filling
- 3 medium potatoes (boiled)
- 2 tbsp peas (boiled) – optional
- 1/2 tsp dried pomegranate seeds (anaar daana)
- 1/2 tsp black seeds (kalonji)
- 1 medium onion (thinly chopped)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric Powder (haldi)
- 8-10 mint leaves (finely chopped)
- 5-6 coriander leaf stalks (finely chopped)
- 4-5 green chilies (thinly sliced)
- 1/4 tsp coriander seeds (dhanay - coarsely ground)
- 1/4 tsp dry red chilies (coarsely ground)
- 1/4 tsp cumin (zeera – coarsely ground)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp oil or ghee
- For the envelopes, add the flour, thyme, salt, oil and ghee, and knead it into a pliable dough of medium consistency with very little water; leave this dough to rest for one hour
- For the filling, heat oil or ghee in a pan and add the chopped onion to it; fry the onion until translucent – don’t let it change color
- Now add the pomegranate seeds, black seeds, turmeric powder, coriander, mint leaves, green chillies, coriander seeds, red chillies, and cumin seeds to the frying onion
- After cooking the onion and the spices for a minute, cut the boiled potatoes in little chunks and add to the mixture along with the peas
- Mix thoroughly, making sure that you don't mash the potatoes too much. You want chunks coming in your mouth when you eat the samosas
- Add lemon juice to the mixture and take it off the flame – let it cool before making the samosas
- Once this mixture has cooled, make 1 and a 1/2-inch balls (don't measure, just approximate) of dough and roll it out into a circle with an 8-inch diameter
- View my video for instructions on how to fold the envelopes and fill them
- Once done, deep fry in oil or ghee on medium flame till golden brown
- Serve with tomato ketchup, home-made raita or green chutney