Saturday, July 25, 2015

Semi-Homemade Samosas

If you are watching a movie for 3 hours, a break is very important. 
A Bollywood Masala movie, involving drama (Nirupa Roy with tears cascading down her cheeks and sobs echoing between heart rending dialogues), to action ( Amitabh or Dharmendra transforming into super humans and single handedly fighting off hordes of villains, who fall unconscious after one punch, but our valiant heroes just bounce back after repeated blows to the head), romance (and I mean the old type romance, you know, the two flowers colliding against each other, conveying the meaning and leaving the actual to imagination, unlike today, when the on screen romance that makes you wonder, really? Making one squint in cross eyed fascination, that?) and the running around trees singing songs, which if you try ( running and singing and smiling and flirting at the same time) will leave you gasping like a fish out of water. So much for filmi romance ;)

So when you get 3 hours of Bollywood Masala, you need a 10 minute break. Those 10 minutes are for rushing to the rest room, if needed, but most importantly for scrambling to the concession stand to grab a paper bag containing 2 (or more) greasy, piping hot Samosas ( the ice cream bar or soft drink bottle are next, but you cannot really do without the Samosa). Heading back into the semi dark theater with the precious package and finding your seat before the movie starts. 

The satisfaction of biting into a crisp, hot samosa while watching the drama unfold on screen is happiness unlike any other.  
I would eat the base ( the crispiest part) last. Save the best for last.

Li'll S does not get to experience this. The movies (kids animated) are shorter now, we buy a bag of popcorn and head into the dark cinema hall, by the time the movie starts, we are almost done eating the popcorn ( I mean, you cannot resist the smell of popcorn and cannot stop at one, you start taking the popcorn on top, carefully and then just grab it by the fistful). All that is fine, but it isn't the same as greasy Samosas.
Potato peas samosa filling
Samosa Filling

The little one has lately developed a liking for Samosas and demands them every now and then. The store brought samosas are tasty, no doubt, but the spice levels vary and sometimes he cannot tolerate the heat, in which case, M and I are given the stuffing as he finishes the outer cover.

shortcut samosa, tortilla samosa
Uncooked Flour Tortillas 

Making samosas at home is the best solution. If making everything from scratch is intimidating, or you are pressed for time, I have the solution for you. 

Making the stuffing is easy, and can be made ahead of time. The outer cover is made using store bought 'uncooked' Flour Tortillas. These are found in the Refrigerated section (near the cheese, butter, bagels etc.)

The stuffing is simple with most ingredients found in the pantry. I make a little extra stuffing, the left overs can be slathered on to sliced bread and grilled on the skillet or Panini grill, making a hearty sandwich. If you like, use the filling to make Samosa-Paratha.

For the stuffing:

Boil, cool, peel and mash ( leave it a bit chunky) 4 Russet Potatoes.

Thaw about 1/2 cup Green Peas.

In a small saute pan, add about 1 Tbsp. Coriander Seeds ( Sabut Dhania). When toasted, cool and make a coarse powder. I use my mortar and pestle, you could put these in the coffee mill and give it a quick 5 second whirl. Alternatively, crush them using a rolling pin.

Mince 2-3 Green Chilies and grate 1 tsp. Ginger. (or you could add the chilies and ginger knob to the mixer /blender with a pinch of salt and blitz it to a paste, like I do)

Finely chop Cilantro and set aside.

Heat about 2 Tbsp. Oil in a kadhai/ wok.

Add 1 heaped tsp. Cumin/ Jeera to the hot oil, as it sizzles, add the green chilies and ginger paste  and a dash of Asafetida/ Hing followed by the crushed coriander seeds and 3/4- 1 tsp. Turmeric powder.

Saute briefly, you do not want the spices to burn.

Add the mashed potatoes, 1/2 - 3/4  tsp. Kashmiri red chilies powder, 1 tsp. Amchur Powder ( add a bit more if you like tart taste, I added a dash more). Season with Salt to taste. Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes. 

Before switching off the heat, add 1- 1/2 tsp Garam Masala( I eyeballed the amount, I use Badhsah Rajwadi Garam Masala, which is a bit different than the regular Garam Masala and has a strong flavor). Mix well, switch off the heat and sprinkle with finely chopped Cilantro

Taste and adjust the seasoning. I keep it mild, so my son can enjoy the samosas. 
This spice level is kid-approved, Li'll S loved then as did D, who cannot tolerate heat. 

Once the Filling has cooled, Open the tortilla packet and using a Pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut the tortilla in half. The D shaped semi-circles can be shaped like cones and stuffed. 

To seal the edges, I made a thick-ish paste of All Purpose Flour + Water.
I found this pictorial on folding the Samosa.
Its fairly simple, Fold the sides onto one another forming a triangle,making sure that the tip is closed - check the picture above ( or the oil seeps in and no one wants to eat THAT).
I apply the 'gum' paste on the outer line ( the D part) and then seal it, leaving the curved end free to fill.
Scoop up the filling and fill the cone, do not over fill, you still have to seal it.
Carefully and gently press the filling down and proceed to seal the samosa.

Fill and seal all the samosas.

At this stage, you can deep fry them or freeze them for future use.

If deep frying, fill a wok with oil (half way)  and heat it on medium-high. Once the oil is hot, reduce the heat. For crisp Samosas, you need to deep fry them on a medium-low flame/ heat setting to a golden brown.

Slide in 2-4 samosas ( depending on the size of your kadhai /wok) and deep fry.

deep fried tortilla samosa
Deep fry to a golden brown on medium heat only

Remove from the oil and place on paper towels to drain the excess oil. At this point, the samosa as ready to be devoured. Serve with Cilantro-Mint Chutney and Date and Tamarind sauce

To make it a meal, make Samosa-Chaat using Choley  or Ragda (I used Ragda).

Add some Ragda in a bowl, crush and place a Samosa on top, Garnish the ragda-samosa with chutneys and finely chopped Onions and minced Cilantro.

Serve immediately.

ragda samosa chaat
Ragda Samosa Chaat

- While making these samosas is very easy, keep in mind that they need to be served immediately

- Keeping these samosas aside will soften the outer cover, since these are made using ready Tortillas and make it chewy. 

That's it for now, enjoy your weekend, folks! 
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  1. Wow! Tortillas as samosa wraps. That's a bright idea. Less work, more fun.

  2. Haha, the masala movie description made me laugh. Good ol' Bollywood with its tenuous storylines, even weaker acting, and yes, those incredible lengths! The other day, in an ill-conceived bout of homesickness, Desi and I sat down to watch Raj Kapoor's Sangam. By the time we were halfway through the three-and-a-half-hour tearjerking ordeal, we were ready to tear our hair out. The only thing that keeps me watching the oldies, including this one, is the amazing songs.
    Your samosas are fabulous and they're making me hungry. Smart idea to use uncooked tortillas for the cover. I have to try these on my little one soon! :)


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