When I think of Indian food I see myself at my favorite Indian restaurant enjoying endless papadum, cool and refreshing mango lassi’s, warm cheesy garlic naan, and more navratan korma than my stomach has room for. Up until a few months ago it never occurred to me to try and make this cuisine for myself.
I did some research and decided to make simple saag paneer. On my quest to make everything from scratch I spent my afternoon making the cheese and, consequently, a huge mess in my kitchen. Then, due to my lack of all the required specialty spices, my spinach tasted nothing like what is should have. In the end all I was left with was a craving for takeout.
Needless to say, when we decided to make samosas, I was hesitant. However, these samosas were much easier than I had expected. The dough, although a little messy because of all the handling, is very simple. These samosas can be either baked or fried, but we decided to take the healthier route. They can be gobbled down plain or enjoyed with a mint yogurt sauce. Here’s a tip: enlist your friends to help you when it comes to stuffing the samosas because it’ll make the tedious task go by much faster!
Total preparation time: 50 minutes
2 c. flour
½ t. salt
4 T. oil
6 T. water
Unlike making regular pastry dough, fat is incorporated into the flour by a technique called moyan dena, or by “rubbing into”. Place the flour and salt in a bowl, make a well and pour in the oil. Pick up some of the flour and oil with one hand and, using the same motion of washing your hands, rub the flour and oil together. Continue this technique until the oil is evenly incorporated and the mixture is slightly crumbly. Add the water and mix until a smooth dough is formed. Set aside and let rest for 30 minutes.
2 T. oil
1 T. water
4 large potatoes
1 c. green peas
2 T. curry powder
1 t. salt
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the potatoes. Cook the potatoes until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Remove potatoes from the water and let cool enough to handle. Cube the potatoes into ¼-inch pieces.
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the potato cubes and green peas. Then, add the water to create steam, cover, and cook until the potatoes are soft. Add the salt and curry powder and stir until all ingredients are evenly coated. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 F
To stuff the samosas, roll the dough out until it’s ⅛-inch thick. Cut circles 8-inches in diameter and then in half, creating semi-circles. Take each semi-circle and make a cone by turning the two corners around and together. Press the two mating faces of the dough together to form a seal. Now, spoon the filling into the cone and crimp the dough closed using the prongs of a fork.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, checking periodically for browning. They’ll be done when you can’t stand waiting for them any longer!
Mint Yogurt Sauce:
6 ½ oz. plain yogurt
2 T. chopped mint
2 T. lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Combine the ingredients, mix well, cover and refrigerate.