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How to make the perfect Samosa

How to make the perfect Samosa
Bowl by Richard Ginori, Fork by Robbe & Berking, Condiment Dish by Match 1995

 

In honour of Holi, the annual Indian festival that marks the arrival of Spring, we asked Indra (Reeta) Patel to share her mouthwatering Samosa recipe with us. You may know Reeta as co-owner of My Favourite Ice Cream, one of Toronto's most beloved ice cream parlours (conveniently located right next door to HG). When she's not running the shop with her husband Jay, Reeta can be found at home cooking authentic Indian meals for her family. She recently opened up her kitchen to us, where she taught us how to make Samosas, the neatly folded, tightly packed savoury goodness that is India's most popular snack. Introduced to the Indian sub-continent in the 13th Century by Middle Eastern traders, the humble samosa earned the blessings of Indian royalty, and became food 'fit for the king'. They're surprisingly easy to make, and once you do, you'll be hard-pressed to ever order them in again.

Above: Indra (Reeta) Patel; Reeta's go-to spices

 

Reeta's Samosas

Makes approx. 12 samosas

Ingredients

  • 1 medium red potato, peeled and diced
  • 1-2 medium carrots, grated 
  • 3/4 cup frozen green peas
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. garam masala
  • salt to taste
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 package corn tortillas (flour tortillas can be substituted)
  • 3 tablespoons flour (for paste)
  • additional oil for cooking

Dipping Sauce

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp. toasted cumin seeds, crushed by mortar & pestle
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 red pepper, chopped into pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sweet jam or marmalade
  • juice of 1/2 lime

 

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot (do not let smoke). Add mustard seeds and cumin and cook approx. 30 seconds until they start to crackle and pop.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add the potatoes, carrots, peas and remaining spices. Cover and cook approx. 20 minutes, until vegetables are soft but firm (add a tablespoon or two of water if your mixture is too dry). 
  3. Once cooked through, remove the pan from heat and add lime juice and cilantro. Let cool. 
  4. While the vegetables are cooking, make a paste. Add flour to a small bowl, and add just enough water to make a light paste. Set aside.
  5. Using a non-stick pan on low heat, warm each tortilla for 3-5 seconds per side to soften. Remove and cut in half.

A. Make a cone by folding your tortilla half into thirds and sealing with paste.

B. Dollop vegetable mixture into your cone, leaving enough room at the top.

C. Using more paste, fold one top over the other, and sealing edge to edge.

6. Fold the tortilla half into three, and using your finger, seal the edges with the paste, forming a cone. Dollop a generous scoop of filling in the cone, and using more paste, seal the top by folding it onto itself until you have a neatly packed triangle.

7. Heat 2-3 inches of oil in a dutch oven or deep frying pan. Once hot (approx. 350F/177C), fry in small batches until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve warm or at room temperature.

8. To make the dipping sauce, mix all ingredients in a blender and pour into a serving dish.

Condiment dish and pewter tray: Match 1995;  Plate: Richard Brendon, Fork: Robbe & Berking; Tablecloth: Lisa Corti