Sunday, February 27, 2011

Classic Samosa with Four Fillings - Potato, Peas'n'Corn, Spinach & Coconut

Samosa is the signature family snack in india and around the world. This appetizer is made by frying the pockets made of all purpose flour and stuffed with veggies, most commonly potatoes and spices. It is enjoyed right in the casual party to cocktails where small and cute baked versions become a food statement. 

Samosa is one of the most famous dumpling around the world, USA today. The other famous dumplings are Italian ravioli, Chinese Potstickers, Japanese gyoza, korean Mandu, Turkish manti, Polish pierogi, Russian pelmeni, Ehiopian tihlo, Ghanian Fufu.

Samosas recently were on the menu of President Obama at White House. When I came across this news clipping, I was so curious to know about making of this signature snack of Indian cuisine right at home. 

Hmmm....was sounding unbelievable in the beginning as I always used to think it is a core skill and USP of experienced cooks only.   

I criss crossed on my couch with my laptop and had reminisces of the good old school days. The memories of having fun with friends and samosa parties came flooding in my mind. I remember buying hot samosa and cute little pack of popcorns from school canteen to take away the stress of science and mathematics classes to samosa party with friends almost every week, with reason at times and without reason most of the times. Cant just believe now that samosa could be bought for just 50 paise :-).  

 Couple of days back I saw a few interesting recipes of Samosas on foodgawker and I was also tempted to try my hands on this spicy snack at home. 

The typical way of making samosa is to make stuffing of your choice, tempering it with spices, making pockets, folding it into triangular or conical shape, and then deep frying or baking. The cooking revolution and health  revolution has changed the dynamics of cooking and relishing the food as well. Now a days people opt for baked version, to cut down the calories. For baking,  lightly brush the samosas with oil and bake  at 350 C for 20-25 minutes approximately or till turns light brown.

Featured on "Foodbuzz Top 9"

In my quest to learn how to make samosa at home,  I stumbled upon this wonderful recipe of samosa on by Andrea Nguyen featured in her book Asian Dumplings. I loved the fact that this recipe calls for whole wheat flour in the crust rather than traditional all purpose flour crust. I bookmarked the recipe which had almost everything I was looking for in the samosa - whole wheat flour  plus potatoes (sweet potatoes) as filling.

 I tweaked it to the taste buds of my family and have tried different vegetarian stuffings. Besides the fillings I have made for my samosas - peas, moong bean sprouts and cauliflower also taste amazing. Just fill what ever soothes your senses.

So here is my basket of special samosas for different seasons, adding myriad flavors to your life.
 - Spicy Potato samosas
 - Peas 'n' Corn  samosas
 - Spinach and paneer samosas
 - Sweet coconut samosas.
Ingredients for Samosa Dough: - (Makes 12-14 Samosas)
Whole wheat flour: 1/2 cup
All Purpose flour: 1/2 cup ( if using only APF, double the quantity)
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Carrom seeds (Ajwain): 1/2 tsp
Coriander/Parsley flakes: 1tsp (use any dry green flakes)
Butter or Oil: 3 tsp
Water: 1/4 cup , add more if required
Method for making Samosa dough: - In a bowl, mix  the dry ingredients - whole wheat and all purpose flour, salt, ajwain, dry coriander flakes. Add butter (at room temperature) or oil into the flour and mix it well. Slowly add water to the mix and knead the flour to make a smooth but tough dough (the dough is slightly tougher than chapati dough but should be comfortable to work). Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and set aside for at least half an hour.
Dough for the Samosa

Ingredients for the filling of Potato/ Aloo Samosa:
Potatoes: 2-3 (boiled and diced)
Sweet petit peas: 1/4 cup (thawed and soaked in warm water if using frozen)
Paneer: 2tsp (cut into small cubes), optional
Olive oil: 1 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Onion: 1 (finely chopped)
Green Chillies: 2 (finely chopped)
Ginger : 2 inch piece, finely chopped
Fresh Coriander: 2 tsp

Fennel and Coriander: 1 tsp (crushed in mortar)
Salt : To taste
Cashews, Peanuts: 2 tsp (roasted)

Raisins: few
Note: Gently crushed fennel and coriander in mortar and pestle are the key taste defining ingredients in the samosa.

Method to Prepare Potato Stuffing:
Boil the potatoes, peel of the skin and dice into small cubes.
Heat oil in a nonstick pan. 
Add cumin seeds, onion and ginger julliens. 
Saute for couple of minutes, then add the potatoes and peas, followed by seasoning to taste. 
Let it cool for a while before adding to the pastries.
Ingredients For Peas'n'Corn Samosa:
Golden Corn Kernels: 1 cup (blanched in warm water)
Sweet Peas: few (thawed if using frozen)
Spring Onions: 2
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Fresh Greens: 2tsp (of onions and cilantro)
Seasoning: to taste (see top for details)

Heat oil and add cumin seeds. Saute finely chopped spring onions, corn kernels and sweet peas. Season with spices to taste, add some finely chopped onion greens and cilantro for freshness. 
Ingredients for Spinach and Paneer Samosa:
Spinach: 1 cup (finely chopped)
Paneer: 1/2 cup (diced)
Potatoes: 1(boiled and diced), optional
Onion: 1
Seasoning: to taste (see details at top)

Heat oil in a pan, saute chopped onions, spinach and paneer. 
Season the filling to taste and add to make delicious green and healthy samosas. 
                         L: Spinach and paneer filling; C: Potato filling; R: Peas/Corn filling

Method to make Samosa: 
Knead the dough again for 5 minutes before making balls. Divide the dough into equal parts. 
Take out one small ball and roll into a circular disk like chapati (as thin as you can). Make a small disk for cocktail style samosa and a big disk for standard size samosa. 
Cut the circle in half so you have two half-moons. 
Roll the dough in thin circles, Cut it open in the middle

To assemble the samosas, take one of the half moons, put  about a tablespoon or two of the desired filling (potato, peas/corn or spinach). Fold from one side towards the center and then from another side (seal by gently dabbing the edges with water). 
Take a semi-circle match end to end, this would make a cone
The cone is ready, turn it upside down and fill with stuffing. Simply press the bottom with fingers. Continue until all the samosas are assembled. See the details in picture.
Now we will get our fillings into the cone
Formula is simple - A good Samosa = A good Filling !!
Make sure you wet the sides a little to seal the ends !!!
Here our Samosa is ready for action !!!,  A few more to go though....
And now Battalion of Samosas is waiting on the kitchen island for being fried shortly...
Loved the dash of green cilantro on Samosa Skin
Frying the Samosas: - In a heavy bottomed skillet, heat heat the oil until it reaches about 220 degrees F. Drop one by one few samosas in the skillet and fry on medium heat till it turns light golden brown.

Carefully remove and place on pieces of a brown paper bag to soak up the oil. Serve immediately with coriander and tamarind chutney.

Freshly Fried Samosas with Cilantro Chutney & Tomato Ketchup

Here is the method of sweet samosas, especially made for my little one who has a sweet tooth. This filling is generally used to make gujiyas and I wanted to make some too, but didnt have the mould, so thought of filling it in samosas. The taste was heavenly. If you want it to be more sweeter, then give these samosas a quick dip in sugar syrup.

Ingredients for Sweet Coconut Filling:
Khoa (reduced milk): 1/2 cup 
Coconut powder: 1/4 cup
Sugar: 1/4 cup or to taste
Raisins: few

Method: -
Grate the khoa and lightly warm it in the microwave for less than 10 seconds. 
Add coconut powder, sugar, raisins and mix well. Stuff in the Samosa & fry as above.
Some More....
Enjoy hot and fresh samosas with Cilantro & Mint chutney.....!

Finally, I get to break-in !!!

Happy to share my first experience of making homemade samosas with you !!!

Today I'm gonna be having all these spicy and sweet samosas for lunch with a cup of hot masala chai !!! 

Thank You so much for being here. I appreciate your time, support and comments.

Have a wonderful day and take care !


Classic Samosa With Four Fillings on Foodista

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