I had never known hunger until I started life in my college hostel. The food was so pathetic that we would mostly skip meals or eat just enough to sustain life. Choosing the worst dishes on the menu would be very difficult; was it the runny green peas curry or the sambar with plenty of water, a little onion and some red powder added to it? (I am yet to find out whether the red powder was chili powder, or brick powder or just plain red colouring.) But each time we thought we would snap, relief would come in the form of samosa for tea. Fortunately, these samosas were not made in our hostel kitchens and were spicy, crispy and delicious, and I especially loved the crispy corners.
One samosa day, we reached the kitchen late and the samosas were almost over. (Samosas used to disappear very fast because many people would eat more than their fair share!!!) I saw people hurrying towards whatever was left, and asked my friend BND to get one for me too. But imagine my disappointment when she handed out the last precious samosa to someone who was nearer to her. That was the one time I snapped and shed tears of frustration, sorrow and anger. Yes, a samosa sounds like a silly thing to cry for, but in my defense, I could not remember when I had my last decent meal, and at that moment, the samosa meant a lot more to me than just a fried triangular pastry filled with potato, peas and onions. BND, on the other hand, says she did not hear me and had no idea how famished I was.
As my friends and I laughed over this episode recently (and in turn, over many such episodes - I am not the only one who cried over food), I had a sudden craving for samosas. I was fairly happy with my first attempt at making this fried goodness.
Here is how I did it:
1) 1 cup wheat flour
2) 1 cup plain flour/maida
3) 1 tbsp refined cooking oil
4) Salt, to taste
5) A little less than one cup of water
To make the pastry:
Mix wheat flour, maida, oil and salt. Add water little by little, and knead well to form a soft dough. Keep aside for 15 to 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into 15 portions.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion, making it as thin as possible. Cut into rectangles about 5 cm wide, and 25 cm long. Decide the dimensions of each strip depending on how large (or small) you want the samosa to be.
On a heated tava or pan, warm both sides of each strip lightly. You can skip this step, but I found that it was easier to stuff these samosas.
You could save yourself a lot of time and trouble by using readymade pastry or samosa leaves.
For the filling:
1) 3 large potatoes (about 300 gram), cooked and roughly chopped
2) 50 gram cheese such as cheddar, crumbled or grated
3) 2 onions, chopped finely
4) 2 green chilies, chopped finely
5) 1 tsp each of ginger and garlic, finely chopped
6) ½ cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
7) ½ capsicum, finely chopped
8) ¼ tsp each of turmeric powder, garam masala powder, red chili powder
9) 2 tbsp oil
10) Salt, to taste
To make the filling:
Heat oil in a pan. Fry the onions lightly. Add green chilies, ginger and garlic, and masala powders and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the mashed potatoes, and mix everything well. Finally add the capsicum, chopped coriander and seasoning, and heat for some time.
Take the stuffing off fire. Once it has cooled, mix in the crumbled cheese.
Stuffing and frying the samosa:
1) Pastry sheets
2) Prepared stuffing
3) A thin paste made of plain flour and water
4) Refined oil to deep fry
|Step by step illustration to stuff the samosa and get the perfect triangular shape|
Once all the samosas have been filled in with the stuffing, deep fry in hot oil over a medium flame. When the samosas are browned lightly, remove and keep aside.
After a few minutes, fry these samosas once more in hot oil till they are well browned. Frying the samosas twice makes them crispy.
Remove with a slotted spoon, and serve hot with tomato sauce or chutney of your choice and a cup of tea.
Samosas can be prepared ahead, and stored in the freezer. You can fry them just before serving.
Enjoy maadi !!!