Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Triangular icons in the Indian snack scene!

Samosas!
This snack needs no introduction. It is by far the most popular Indian snack and I reckon it will never go out of fashion. Everybody loves the little fried pyramids. Crispy on the outside and tangy goodness inside, served with imli chutney and pudina chutney, it's one tongue tickling creation! It's very versatile too - you can have various fillings (just get creative), you can serve it as a chaat and you can also make the chic petite versions for your next party, cocktail samosas they're called apparently! The perfect accompaniment, according to me, is a nice hot cup of ginger chai. One can't go wrong with the combination. And that's exactly what we did when we had friends over for a little 'b'day tea party' in March this year. Good friends, lots of chatter, samosas and chai, now that's a relaxed evening!

To make the samosas - (this recipe will yield about a dozen samosas)

For the dough (for the outer pockets)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup wholemeal flour (wheat flour/atta)
  • 1/2 tspn ajwain (caraway seeds)
  • a pinch of cooking soda
  • salt to taste
  • water
For the filling -
  • 4 large potatoes (boiled)
  • 2 tbspns oil
  • 1/2 tspn jeera (cumin seeds)
  • a pinch of turmeric
  • 1 tspn each of - red chilli powder, jeera powder and amchur powder
  • 1/2 tspn crushed whole dhania (coriander seeds)
  • 1 tspn peanuts
  • salt to taste
  • oil for deep frying
  1. Make a fairly stiff dough with all the ingredients mentioned in the first section. While adding the ajwain, lightly rub it between your palms to release the full flavour.
  2. To make the filling, lightly mash the boiled potatoes.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and add jeera.
  4. Next add peanuts and crushed dhania and saute for a couple of minutes.
  5. Now turn the heat down and add turmeric and all the dry masala powders and saute for about a minute or two.
  6. Then add the potatoes and salt and give it a good mix. But be gentle as you don't want the filling to end up like mashed potatoes. (That reminds me, you could even add 1/2 a cup of green peas to the filling.)
Getting the triangles/pyramids!
This can be quite tricky the first few times, but after a lot of trial and error I figured that the best way to make it is as follows -
  • Take a ping pong ball sized bit of the dough and roll it into an oblong shape (not round like you would for rotis/chapatis).
  • It should neither be too flimsy (it will give in and tear when you stuff the filling inside and believe me, you would have to do a lot of dough grafting to hide the holes!) nor too thick (this will make the end product too hard to swallow, gulp!)
  • Once you've rolled it out to the right thickness, cut it in the middle and you'll end up with two semi circles.
  • Spoon out a little bit of the filling and place it in the centre of the half circle. Lightly run the edges with some water.
  • Now lift the corners of the dough and bring them together to form a triangle/pyramid (now this may sound tricky in words and unfortunately I don't have pictures, but you'll figure it out when you do it) Seal the edges well to make sure the filling doesn't get out while frying. If you've done the pyramid construction right, you should be able to sit your samosa up on it's base.
  • Make a few in a batch while the oil gets heated up.
  • Deep fry the samosas till they turn (the cliched) golden brown :-)
  • Serve hot and enjoy!
It may take a few attempts till you get comfy with the whole process, but once there. your options for variations are endless. For me though, the classic potato filling is the all time favourite. Go on, give this a try and have some good friends over for that long session of gossips, laughter and chai!

3 comments:

Vani said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog! You've got a lovely blog here. The samosa look so yum! Will add you to my reader so I don;t miss any post :)

Priti said...

Umm looks so yummy and perfect...and so the chaat...

Divya Rao said...

Thanks Vani & Priti!

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