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Karen's Musings
Random Rambling
I made Samosas today!  I never thought I'd make them,  but I decided that it just can't be that difficult, and I was right!  I hear they're delicious.


EDITED TO ADD:  a lot of people asked for the recipe I used.  I vaguely followed a recipe, and here's what I remember off the top of my head:

  • 3 Tbsp Oil (I didn't measure, I just covered the bottom of the pan)
  • One pound (ish) of potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces (I think the recipe says about 4 cups - I didn't measure, I just cut up a bunch of potatoes until it "looked right")
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds (a lot of recipes call for black cumin seeds, but I couldn't find them without going down to Langley Park to the Indian store and I'm too lazy for that).
  • 1 green chili, finely diced (I didn't have a green chili, and I was too lazy to go get one, so I used some dried spices to make up for the difference)
  • pinch of turmeric (most recipes don't call for turmeric and one recipe, in fact, specifically says that turmeric should never go in samosa filling. Whatever. It wasn't that much turmeric and I don't think lent that much color to it, so it's not a big deal either way)
  • 1 tsp ground roasted cumin (I did roast some cumin, but I couldn't get it ground finely enough, so I used a bit of that and a bit of regular boring cumin and it came out just fine)
  • 1 tsp of salt (I didn't measure - but probably used slightly more than that on account of the number of potatoes I had)
  • scant 1/2 cup of peas (I didn't find this to be enough, so I used a bit more - but I might have had more potatoes than I should have).
There's some special pot/utensil or whatever that you're supposed to cook in. My guess is that a wok would work just fine. I didn't have either, so I used a pot. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in the [pot thingy you're supposed to use]. Add the whole cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds. Add the potato and green chili and cook for about 2-3 minutes (I didn't time it). Add the turmeric, salt and ground roasted cumin and cook for another 5 minutes (again, with, I didn't measure). Add the peas, cover, reduce heat, and continue cooking until the potatoes are done. (I opened the pot up and stirred often, b/c the potatoes stick to the bottom - but scraping off that yummy fried potato goodness from the bottom while it's cooking gives you good flavor in your potato mixture!) Dough:
  • 2 1/4 cups flour (I guesstimated, but probably came in the ballpark of that)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 3 Tbsp of oil (I found I needed more than that - I was mostly eyeballing the dough) scant 1/2 cup of hot water (not sure why it has to be hot, but I did use hot water, so I can't speak to whether it would work with lukewarm water - it's not like you're activating yeast or anything, which works best with warm [but not hot] water)
Sift the flour and salt together (figure the odds - I don't have time to sift. I took a whisk to get the lumps out and get a little air in it. It's not perfect, but it's faster).
Add the oil and then mix it in with your fingers (it'll form little tiny balls of floury oil - like I said, I felt like I needed more than 3T).
Add just enough water to form a stiff dough (I probably needed about 5/8ths of a cup). Knead for 10 minutes (I didn't get anywhere near 10 minutes (note previous comments about my utter laziness).

Form dough into 12 balls. Roll each ball out into a 6 inch round (I can't say I measured, but whatever. Just roll it out thinly). Cut each round in half (so you've got a semicircle). Form a cone with the flat edges of the semicircle - using a little water on the edges to seal the dough. Fill with 1/2 tsp of filling (again, didn't measure - just stuffed as much filling as would fit without exploding). Crimp the open edges together (I did this both just with my fingers and also tried with the tines of a fork - both worked just fine).

Heat up oil for deep frying (I got my oil hot while I was assembling b/c it takes a while to heat up, but this will depend on how quickly you can assemble, because you certainly don't want a pot of hot oil burning on your stove for an hour if it's going to take you that long to assemble).
Put as many samosas in the hot oil as will fit (I fit a TON in) and cook until golden brown and crispy (this took a lot longer than I thought it would - the dough isn't very delicate and it's a little thick, so it takes a while for the browning to really happen). Drain and serve.

Serve with chutney. I didn't make any chutney, but if I had, it would have been tamarind chutney which is the best chutney in the entire universe, if you ask me. But where on earth would I ever find a tamarind? Especially this time of year. I have a recipe for tamarind chutney if you want, but I've never used it, so I can't speak to its authenticity.

NOTE: Many Samosa recipes call for garam masala in the filling. Garam masala recipes are ALL different - most families have their own family blend to make up the garam masala. This particularly recipe did not call for garam masala, for which I was very grateful because, again, too lazy to make it. Certainly, you can spice the filling any way you please - it'll be yummy.


16 comments or Leave a comment
From: have_inner_lady Date: January 6th, 2010 03:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Difficult? No.

A ton of work? Good grief yes! Where on earth did you find the time, O Ye Domestic Wonder?

They look fabulous!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: January 6th, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
They really WEREN'T a ton of work, which is what was so surprising about them. the dough is quick and easy to make, and NOT a pain to roll out (it's not so elastic that it fights you every step of the way). I didn't make a very large batch, admittedly, so that probably added to the ease.

As for where I found the time - I only worked part of yesterday b/c of a doctor's appointment and not feeling great, so I had an extra hour or two.
From: have_inner_lady Date: January 6th, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Clearly I have been making my samosa dough wrong, then, because mine fights. But that is certainly my own failure to follow directions or recipes. :-)

I still think you are awesome.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: January 6th, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I didn't quite follow the recipe in the book - I read a whole bunch of recipes and went from there. I found that the dough fought less if I used slightly more oil than it called for.

Probably not your failure to follow the directions/recipe - probably just a different dough recipe.

This was between 2 and 2 1/2 cups of flour, a teaspoon of salt, 3T of oil and supposedly 1/2 cup of hot water (but I needed more oil and water than that - I just eyeballed it... I've made enough doughs in my lifetime that I can usually figure it out from feel/look. I posted the full recipe in the main entry above - but it essentially boiled down to mixing the ingredients together and then kneading (recipe says for 10 minutes - forget THAT! I kneaded until the dough felt right which was really only a few minutes).

And thanks - I don't know about awesome, exactly, but I'll take it.
allah_sulu From: allah_sulu Date: January 6th, 2010 04:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Those even look delicious.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: January 6th, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
jeannegrrl From: jeannegrrl Date: January 6th, 2010 04:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Those look amazing! When you find time in your copiously free schedule, haha, I'd love to see the recipe you used!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: January 6th, 2010 02:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I updated the entry to include the recipe. It looks more complicated than it sounds all typed out. It was really quite simple.
jeannegrrl From: jeannegrrl Date: January 6th, 2010 02:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the update! I know you said it wasn't complicated, but I nevertheless stand, well sit really, in awe of your cooking prowess. :-)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: January 6th, 2010 02:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
The only PITA about it is rolling out those little rounds - but even that is much quicker than you'd think. It honestly looks a lot more complicated in writing than it is in practice.
lizziebennet From: lizziebennet Date: January 6th, 2010 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)
That looks so good! I'm interested in how you did it (filling recipe too...) if you have time--did you deep fry them? Or bake them? I am scared of deep frying!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: January 6th, 2010 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I did deep fry them - this kind of dough wouldn't do well baked - it's a very dry dough, but would probably get chewy if you baked it, rather than super-crisp the way that samosas are traditionally served. I normally shy away from anything that's deep fried, both because I don't like dealing with hot oil and because it's not exactly health food. But it's actually really very easy. Just heat up the oil, (gently) toss in the prepared samosas, and let the oil do it's job until they're golden brown.

I updated the main entry with the recipe, b/c it was too long for a comment.
osewalrus From: osewalrus Date: January 6th, 2010 10:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Delicious, and I want the recipe.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: January 6th, 2010 02:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I updated the main entry with the recipe b/c it was too long to be contained in a comment. They really were refreshingly simple to make.
debsters1101 From: debsters1101 Date: January 7th, 2010 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)
the best part about this recipe, to me, is your hysterical commentary on it LOL. this is WAY too much work for me (im a mix it and throw it in the oven kind of gal) but 3 cheers for you for cooking such incredible food for your family, that you dont even get to eat!!!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: January 7th, 2010 12:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am, essentially, lazy. But I *do* love to cook, so these were fun. I'm just too lazy to do it *quite* right. :)
16 comments or Leave a comment