Popular Recipes

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Appetizers"- Vegetable Samosas

Just couple days ago,I was craving 'Samosa'. It was so much easier in India...you crave something...either ask 'mummy' to make it for you or just go around the corner and buy it from the store!There were so many chaat,fast food stalls everywhere....that your cravings were never left unfullfilled.
But here is USA, especially in small town like Ithaca,you have to make everything yourself.When I was pregnant (with 'E') I was craving Pani poori soo much.But none of the stores in Ithaca carried it then.So 'M' went all the way to Syracuse(about an hour from Ithaca) on a weekend and bought packets of pani poori ...so that I could eat till my heart content!
Anyways....good old memories...
Last year I read this interesting book...'The Hindi Bindi Club" by an Marathi author Monica Pradhan.It was about immigrant families and especially about 3 women and their 3 daughters who were born and brought up in USA. The book discusses challenges of women shaped by ancient ways but living modern lives.Their struggle between their traditional upbringing and the 'new' land they were living in.
One more interesting fact of the book was, after every chapter the author writes about some 'recipe' related to the chapter content.It is from this book that I got my recipe for vegetable samosas.
I was very confident about making the filling for samosas..it is a 'no brainer'....but the pastry covering...not so easy!! I tried this recipe from the book and it comes pretty good.
I substituted  the 'vegetable shortening' in the book with vegetable oil.I do not cook myself with 'shortening' so did not have any on hand.But...vegetable shortening is the best shortner (shortens wheat gluten strands) and makes the best flaky pastry....as I learn from my food science courses.So if you really want to make it 'authentic' try some vegetable shortening.But my samosas with butter+oil came out flaky and crispy too!!

For the Pastry/Dough:
2 cups All purpose flour
2tsp corn starch
3/4stick cold butter
2tbsp vegetable oil
1/2tsp Ajwain seeds
Oil for frying
Ice cold water to make dough.(Add ice cubes to water)

1) Cut cold butter into small pieces.
2) Mix with the flour and corn starch by gently rubbing the butter on to the flour.The mixture should look crumbly.
3) Add oil,ajwain,salt and slowly add ice cold water and knead the dough firmly.
4) Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Secret to best flaky pastry is keeping everything cold till ready to fry.

For the Filling:
2 Potatoes boiled and mashed
1/2 cup boiled green peas
1 onion chopped
1/2tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2tsp Garam masala
1/2tsp Cumin-corainder powder
1/2tsp chili powder
1/2tsp turmeric
1/2tsp mustard seeds
1/2tsp Cumin
1/2tsp Fennel seeds(Gives nice flavor.Try it if you haven't used it before!)
5-6 Curry leaves
1/2tsp Mint powder/paste
1tsp chopped cilantro

1) Heat 1tbsp oil, add mustard,cumin,curry leaves and fennel seeds.Add chopped onion,ginger garlic paste,turmeric and fry.
2) Add the potatoes,peas and mix well.Add the mint paste,cilantro,garam masala and other spices and fry.
3) Let the filling cool.

Assemblying the Samosas:
1) Knead the dough again before rolling out.Take a small portion of the dough.Roll out into a circle(about 6 inch).
2) Cut into half moon shape.Arrange with straight edge close to you.
3) Fill 2 spoons filling in the center
4) Fold the right edge over the left edge.Press it shut
5) Press the semicircular bottom with fingers.The samosa resembles a triangle now. You can press the edges with a fork to seal well and make it look prettier.
6) Fry in hot oil on low-medium flame.This is important to make the Samosas crisp.Fry till Golden brown.It takes time for samosas to change color and become crisp.Be patient!
7) Serve hot with Mint chutney/ Ketchup/ Tamarind chutney/ Maggie Hot & Sweet sauce.
8) Enjoy every Bite!!!


  1. I had laughed once when my lab-mate mentioned that she had tried to make samosas....I told her how samosas are so readily available in India, that very few people actually make them at home. In fact it is a street food, so it tastes best when made by the vendors!
    But now I am also curios to try and make it at home. I was wondering if we could use the readymade pie crusts and roll them out thinner and use them instead. Maybe we could also bake them then instead of frying!

  2. Yeah..that is true..Samosas, Pedhas,Rasmalai..are the things you usually 'buy' in India..hardly anyone makes at home! But here...we are doing it all!
    The idea of 'pie crust' is interesting! Have to try it sometime.

  3. Hey gals.
    Back to chk your blog after a while now.
    Anju, i have tried it with the readymade pie crusts that you get at the grocery store and baked them. they taste a lil more like pattie, but yummy. so, that is definetly possible.

  4. i generally add rice flour (a bit), hot oil,salt and owa to my samosa dough made from all purpose flour and water. they are nice and crispy all the time. your recipe for pastry dough looks interesting though, will give it a try

  5. Oh great Narendra!I do that kind of dough for 'Peas Karanji".But mine sometimes comes little softer.So tried this one- with butter and chilling the dough method. Marathit 'Khuskhushit' mhantat na...tase zhale hote Samose!

  6. my girlfriend and her mom always use this recipe to make pie crust but I never really thought of using it for samosas..:). are you a fan of food network, my gf and I watch it all the time!

  7. Yes, I love watching Food Network:)