Friday, July 4, 2014

Keeper Samosas

"What could be more important than a little something to eat?"   ~Winnie the Pooh

I love Winnie the Pooh! He's a bear after my own heart, and he thinks food is important! I have found in many places and with many people "a little something to eat" is routine throughout the day. Don't we love our snacks like 'samosas,' (aka Hot Sams!) and various other spicy savouries which go by different names. In Mumbai they'recalled 'farzan' in most places 'namkeen' and down south I've heard snacks referred to as 'short eats'!

I am aware that snacking eats into a big chunk of real food intake. Now that's not a healthy habit. Snacking between meals is neither right nor good for the body. That being said, I have to admit the occasional liberty I take to indulge myself with Hot Sams! I like both vegetarian samosas and keema ones. In the absence of mithai outlets here, where we'd normally buy our fare, I decided to freeze samosas, just as I did the gujiyas! This is so convenient and on a rainy day, literally too, I have something very traditional that is reminiscent of home. No kneading, rolling, folding...just heat some oil and drop in your sams. Frozen samosas are available commercially too, but I prefer to make mine, as I can make different fillings with the flavors that I like, and which the family likes.

I have also done Keeper Gujiyas. Get the recipe on this link:

Ingredients for vegetarian samosa

For the pastry:

Maida (all purpose flour)...................2 standard cups, for about 15-20 small samosas (could be a couple less or more)
Oil for moyn.........................................4-5 tbsps
Salt to taste
Ajwain (carom seeds)..........................2 small pinches
Water for dough

Sift the flour. Add salt.
Add 4 tbsps oil and mix well with your hands to blend into the flour. Take a handful of blended flour and squeeze tight. Open your fist, if the flour holds its shape even when you drop it gently, it's right. If you think it isn't add 1 tbsp more and blend well. 
Add the carom seeds.
Pouring very little water at a time knead the flour into a smooth dough of medium softness.
Cover and allow to stand for about 20 minutes.

If you are making keema (mince) samosas, avoid the carom seeds. Follow the same procedure. 

For potato filling

Boil 3-4 big potatoes. Mash well. There should be no lumps.
Heat 1-2 tsp of oil in a non stick pan. Lower heat to minimum
Add red chilli powder or green chillies chopped small according to taste
A bit of ginger, about 1 heaped tsp, either chopped very small or grated
1tsp aamchur (dry mango powder)
1tsp coriander powder
1/2tsp garam masala (optional)
Stir for a few seconds. Add the potato mash. Mix well. Check for seasoning and flavour. Add accordingly whatever you feel is required.
Turn off the flame.

You could add a tempering of cumin seeds, if you like.

For mince filling

Mince about 500gms, chicken or mutton.
2 heaped tsps of very finely chopped or grated ginger
2 tsps of very finely chopped or minced garlic
Green chillies very finely chopped, acc to taste
Red chilli, a small pinch, or acc to desired piquancy
2 tsps coriander powder
A handful of green coriander, chopped
1 tsp garam masala
Salt to taste
2-3 tbsps EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

You can use green peas. Just add them along with the mince. 

Heat oil in a non stick pan. Reduce heat to low.
Add ginger, garlic. Green chillies, red chilli, coriander powder, garam masala.
Stir for a couple of seconds. Add the mince. 
Mix well. Add salt.
Cover and cook on medium heat until liquid is almost dried.
Add the green coriander. Cook more, stirring.
If any liquid remains, cook more uncovered. Bhuno (brown) a bit.

Make small balls of dough. 
Roll out into thin circles using a bit of dry flour to keep it from sticking to the surface, but don't use too much. 
Cut the circles into half. Dip your index finger in water and run it around the edges.
Spoon some filling into the centre.

Fold one side over half way. Then fold the other half so that it overlaps the first fold at the centre.
Press dough gently with fingers to seal the edges.

If you wish to store the samosas for later use, dust lightly with dry flour, and stand them in rows in a foil container. Cover and freeze. This should keep for 15-20 days in the freezer. You could also store them in smaller containers so it's easier to use if you don't need many at any time.

If by chance, later, the samosas are stuck together (as mine were) don't tug and pull. They could break. Just heat oil in a deep pan, and put in the whole stack of frozen samosas.

Then with the frying spoon, ladle hot oil, carefully, over the samosas like this:

As they thaw and cook, they'll separate. Gently prise them away from each other, with the frying spoon.

Enjoy serving hot sams to family or then surprise your friends with home-made delicious samosas in a jiffy!

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