Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fennel-flecked Potato Samosas

This recipe is adapted from my favourite Indian cookbook, Mangoes and Curry Leaves, by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. (My favourite cookbook authors, ever!)

The potato filling tastes delicious on its own, and it can be made up to 48 hours in advance. The filled samosas freeze beautifully. Just put them on a cookie sheet, pop in the freezer until frozen solid, and toss in a freezer bag until you're ready to eat them.

Fennel-flecked Potato Samosas (makes 16-- serves 8 as an appetizer or 3-4 as a main)

For the filling:
1 lb potatoes, peeled
1 tbsp oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup chopped onion
2 green serrano chiles, seeded, deveined, and chopped
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup packed minced coriander leaves and stems

In a large pot, boil the potatoes until tender. Drain and let cool for 20 minutes. Use a fork or masher to break the potatoes into small pieces. Set aside.

In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil on high until hot. Swirl to coat the pan, and toss in the mostard seeds. Cover the skillet tightly (this is important, unless you want to be picking mustard seeds off the kitchen floor for weeks) until the mustard seeds stop popping. Lower the heat to medium-high, add the tumeric and garlic, and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add the onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the chiles and cayenne, if using, then stir in the potatoes and salt. Press the mixture around the ban until the mixture is hot and the chiles are soft. Allow to cool to room temperature before proceeding.

Samosa dough:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp oil
up to 1/2 cup warm water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp fennel seeds.

Stir the flour, salt, and fennel seeds together. Stir in the oil, and then add water until a kneadable dough forms. Knead the dough for five minutes. (Don't skimp on the kneading, or else the dough will be impossible to roll out). Cover and let rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.

When ready to proceed, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece out to a 6'' circle on a lightly floured surface. Be sure to keep the dough covered at all times. If a piece doesn't want to roll out completely, set it aside for a few minutes. When you come back to it, the dough will have relaxed and it will roll out to a 6" circle.

To shape the samosas, put a circle of dough back on the cutting board, and cut in half to form two semi-circles. Refer to the pictures for how to shape the dough. Be sure to keep a little dish of water near you, and use your finger to brush water on the cut surfaces so they will stick together. Also, use a little force to pack the filling into the samosas-- they'll hold more than you think.

When the samosas are all formed, preheat the oven to 400 F. Brush the samosas with oil on both sides, and bake for 15 or so minutes or until golden brown, flipping halfway through.

If you like, serve with a traditional tamarind sauce. (Really good-- a beautiful blend of tart and sweet.)

a golfball-sized lump of tamarind
1 cup hot water
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
pinch cumin seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar

Chop the tamarind as finely as possible, and soak in the water for 10 minutes. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the oil until hot and toss in the mustard seeds. Cover the pan until they stop popping. Using a sieve, strain the tamarind water into the pot, pressing the tamarind to extract all the water. Add the salt, sugar, and cumin, and boil for 2 minutes, until slightly reduced and thickened.



Mihl said...

I love samosas! These look so good, thank you for the recipe. I think I could try them this weekend and take them to a party. With the help of your guide I should have no problems to prepare them:)

Lucy said...

Delicious - have just made a batch.

Thanks for the recipe. Lovely.

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