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Out of the Frying Pan
INEXPENSIVE • VEGETARIAN • PARTY FOOD
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Samosas

A common Indian street food, samosas are delicious bubbly pastries filled with a savory filling (in this case, cardamom, potatoes, and peas). A classic vegetarian treat, these are always welcome at a hors d'oeuvres buffet and will be gobbled up by vegetarians and carnivores alike. Serve plain, or alongside your favorite chutney (Tamarind Chutney is traditional). Although a big time-consuming, this recipe isn't hard--and it makes a pile of samosas (which reheat very well in the oven). Adapted from a recipe in Clare Ferguson's Street Food.

(makes 32)

dough:

7 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp. salt
3/4 cup clarified butter or ghee, melted (use vegetable shortening or oil for vegan variation)
hot water

peanut oil, for deep frying
Tamarind Chutney, to serve (or other chutney or sweet chili sauce)

filling:

1/4 cup oil
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds, crushed
seeds from 10 cardamom pods
3 potatoes, about 1 pound, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. salt
1 cup shelled green peas (frozen are fine)
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

If you're making the Tamarind Chutney, do it a few hours in advance.

Sift flour and salt into a bowl, then stir in melted ghee. Add 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of hot water gradually, tossing and stirring, to make a dough. Knead for 2 minutes, then chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

If using a food processor, combine flour and salt in processor bowl. Pour in ghee and blend to combine. With processor running at medium speed, stream in the hot water, then process an additional 15 - 20 seconds. Remove from processor, form into a ball, and chill while you prepare the filling.

Heat oil in skillet at medium-low. Sauté the cumin and cardamom seeds until aromatic, about 1 minute, being careful not to scorch them. Add the potatoes and garlic and sauté for about 10 - 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add turmeric, salt, peas, and water. Stir again, cover,and cook for about 10 minutes more, until potatoes are firm but tender and the liquid has absorbed.

Uncover, stir in cilantro, and let cool.

Divide the dough into 16 equal balls. The easiest way is to keep halving the dough until you have 16 pieces (you'll divide the dough 4 times total). Roll or pat each ball into a 7-inch disc. Cut each disk in half. Roll each half into a cone, overlapping the edges and pinching or wetting to seal. Stuff the cone with a big spoonful or two of filling, then pinch the open end closed (wetting if necessary), forming a puffy triangle.

Chill finished samosas and continue until you've used all the dough.

In a wok or large sauce pan, heat several inches of oil to 350, or until a cube of bread browns in 40 seconds. Fry samosas, 3 - 6 at a time, until golden, blistered, and crisp, about 3 - 4 minutes, turning them over halfway through frying. Remove with tongs, drain on paper towels, and continue until all samosas are fried. May be held in a warm (250-degree) oven while you cook all the batches. Serve hot or at room temperature with Tamarind Chutney, sweet chili sauce, or another chutney or spicy-sweet dipping sauce.



Fry samosas until golden and blistered.


Pinch semicircle into a cone; fill cone with potato mixture; pinch open edge closed; fry to bubbly goodness!
source: Nikol Lohr

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The pastries themselves can be made a day in advanced, refrigerated tightly covered, then fried at the last minute.


Our samosas are filled with a savory potato filling, but you can try them with curried chickpeas, lentils and potatoes, or any starchy Indian-inspired filling you choose.

 

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