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Samosa Recipe

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Samosa Recipe
Samosas

Well this is not really the full samosa recipe. Don't be alarmed but what I will write here is just the pastry recipe and the method for making samosas. The filling can be any number of things - you can make meat samosa with almost any sort of meat curry or a vegetable samosa with any vegetable dish.

Samosas are very old - there are samosa recipes dating back to the 10th century and the name probably derives from Persian. There are variants all over Central Asia, the Middle East and into Northern Africa. Within India they are generally reckoned to have originated in the Gujerat, and early cornerstone of the Murghal Empire, but are now pretty universal over the whole sub-continent.

They are generally eaten as snacks - maybe the equivalent of our pastie. In the west they are also snacks but are often served as starters in restaurants. They can be either deep fried of baked in an oven and each culture has its own preferred shapes, sizes, fillings and cooking method.

Pastry Ingredients

General purpose white flour (maida)
Salt
Ghee or oil - about 2 teaspoons to every 4 oz (125g) flour
Water
Oil for Frying

Filling

Most samosa recipes go to the trouble of giving you a recipe for the filling. I don't think I have ever made a filling specifically to make samosas with; I always use surplus aloo bhaji or similar for vegetable samosas, or leftover keema (on the rare occasions that there is any) to make meat samosas. I do, however, often make too much of a side dish quite intentionally with the idea of making samosas or stuffed parathas later.

Unlike stuffed parathas, the filling for samosas can be quite a bit more chunky so you can use the leftovers of almost any dish for your samosa recipe.

If you really just want to just make samosas then use the recipes for aloo bhaji, aloo mutter, aloo gobi or maybe even gobhi daal for your vegetable samosas; or keema, lamb squash curry or even something like butter chicken for a meat samosa

Notes on Ingredients

Quantities. Most samosa recipes I have seen are quite precise about everything but, as with other recipes like this, the number of samosas you will make really depends on how big you make them and how much filling you have. You can make (roughly) 1 pretty large samosa per ounce (28g) of flour or maybe 3 small ones.

Flour. Indians use maida - all purpose white flour. Any good strong white flour will do.

Salt. This is optional - some people have a big thing about to much salt, and they do have a point; we generally do eat far too much of it. I maybe use a little salt ( teaspoon or less in 8oz flour), you can leave it out if you wish.

Ghee and oil. Most samosa recipes say oil, I personally prefer ghee. For frying, any sort of frying oil is ok

Filling. As I say the filling can be quite chunky but if it is really chunky then maybe chop or mash it a bit first.

Basic Method

Add salt to the flour if you wish and mix in
Add ghee or oil and rub this in so that it is well distributed and the flour has a slight breadcrumb texture.
Add water to the flour a little at a time until you have a soft pliable dough
Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes preferably 10
Leave to rest for about 20-30 mins
Divide the dough into balls - about the size of a golf ball or to suit yourself
Start heating up your frying oil

For each ball of dough :-
Roll out into a nice round, very thin bit of dough, probably aim for about 5-6ins diameter
Cut this round in half with a sharp knife - then with each half ...
Slightly wet the right hand half of the straight edge with water
Fold in half overlapping the straight edges to make a cone
Lightly press the edges together
Fill the cone with your filling
Slightly wet the inside of the top of the cone and fold this over
Repeat for each dough ball

Fry each samosa in hot oil until golden brown turning once

Samosa Recipe
Making Samosas - yellow bits are where to wet slightly so it sticks together

Notes on Method

Rubbing in oil is a bit of a messy affair, you really need to use your hands to get a nice semi crumbly mixture.

If you read enough recipe books you will have undoubtedly come across things like '..make a little well in the dough and pour in the water..' I have never really figured the point of this, I just pour in some liquid and mix with a spoon (a lot less sticky), pour in some more liquid if required until it is of a consistency that I can start kneading it without getting my fingers coated in goo.

Knead well! - most samosa recipes omit to stress the importance of this. It is vital as you are going to be rolling out very thin and this makes the dough springy and elastic. If you don't knead it enough the final product fall to bits easily.

It is also good to let the dough rest for a while before rolling it out. Some would suggest that you make the dough the day before, wrap it in cling film and put in the fridge overnight - well if you like. Make sure it is not drying out while it is resting.

When you have made your little balls of dough, you need to stop them from drying out; covering them with a damp cloth is OK.

The dough needs to be really thin - almost transparent otherwise the samosa will be doughy and too much like a pastie

Don't worry if you make too much dough, wrap what you don't use in cling film and put in the fridge where it will keep for a couple of days. You can always make little flat breads with it.

The oil should not be too hot or the the pastry will burn before it is fully cooked or you will get a doughy, not cooked finish. To test drop a small piece of dough in the oil; it should bubble but not rise to the top immediately.

Options

In the pastry you can mix in a little whole seed; ajwain (carom seeds), nigella or cumin seeds are good.

Some samosa recipes include a small amount of semolina flour (sooji) - about 1 tablespoon in 4oz (125g) flour. This will give a slightly crisper pastry when cooked.

If you want to bake your samosas then brush them with some oil or ghee first and bake for about 15 minutes (give or take depending on how brown you like them) at 200°C (400°F,Gas 6)

You can eat samosas as a snack say instead of sandwiches or for a nice supper dish. Chutney and pickle is good with them particularly as a starter dish




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