When I was a child, some of the best times were when we were having family or friends over; usually for a celebration of some kind. As well as the joy of spending time with loved ones, it was the food that nailed it! I knew we would be making samosa’s! When I say we, I mean WE!. It was a family occasion, a home grown production line on a Saturday morning. The joy of eating something that you’ve all helped create certainly elevated the enjoyment. This is the traditional Punjabi samosa recipe made with potatoes and peas I grew up with.
What you need…
5 to 6 medium sized potatoes… Boiled and broken.
1 Large Onion… diced.
2 large knuckles of fresh ginger… Finely chopped not minced or grated.
1 to 3 fresh green chillies… Thinly sliced. To taste.
Peas… A couple of handfuls.
40g of butter… For softening the onion.
Salt… 2 Teaspoons to taste. Should be saltier than needed.
Garam masala… One teaspoon.
Mango powder… 2 heaped teaspoons. This is called umchoor (sometimes translated as amchoor or amchur)
Fresh coriander… A handful, chopped.
Plain flour… 500g.
60g Warmed butter… Ghee or vegetable oil could be used too.
Vegetable oil… 2 tablespoons.
100ml warm water.
Salt… 1 teaspoon.
You will need to deep fry these in vegetable or sunflower oil.
What to do …
There are quite few components to this recipe and I have suggested an order that may make it more time efficient and manageable.
An overview of the process would be…
make the filling, whilst letting it cool…
make the dough, leave it to breath for at least 20 minutes…
Have a cup of chai…
and then make all the samosa’s…
and finally fry in one session.
1. Boil the potatoes in their skins ideally… Not entirely sure why there’s a difference but that’s how we did it… And every subtle change will probably end up making less than a subtle difference to the end result.
2. Skin the potatoes and in a large pan or bowl break them using a fork… The pieces are best to be random, uniformity is not the key!
3. In a frying pan, low/medium heat, add the 40g of butter, the chopped onion and ginger. Cooking and stirring until the onions have softened… They do not need to colour but you should be getting hits of the fragrant fresh ginger.
4. Add the peas and warm through. Remove from the heat.
5. Add the potatoes, sliced green chillies, salt, garam masala, mango powder and fresh chopped coriander. Mix thoroughly!
6. Tasting is very important. The taste you are looking for is a few degrees above correctly salted, spicy and with the tang/sourness from the mango powder underlining everything.
This mixture should now be allowed to cool. This can be made up to a couple of days in advance if you need to.
1. Mix the flour and warmed butter together.
2. And the salt.
3. The warm water now can be added in drizzles whilst kneading.
The texture of the dough should be firm and not sticky. Add more flour or water as needed to achieve this.
4. Place in a bowl, cover with a cloth and set aside until needed… At least 20 minutes.
Now for the fun bit.. Making the samosa’s…
1. Make balls of dough about 6cm diameter.
2. Roll one out, trying to keep it circular to a diameter of about 16cm or so… The thickness should be about 2mm. You shouldn’t need to flour the board as the dough will not stick and will feel elastic.
3. Cut it in half.
4. Taking one half, dip your finger in water and run it along the straight edge. Fold it over and press firmly along the straight edge forming joined edge about 1.5cm… It will be handy having a small bowl of water set up as you’ll be making more than one.
5. When you pick it up and cup it it should form a cone ready for filling.
6. Using a spoon fill the cone allowing enough space for the top edge to be sealed.
7. Once filled, with water run along the top edge, press together to enclose all the filling… Be mindful not to overfill but also not to have air pockets.
Now for the edging…
It’s a similar technique that is used for Cornish pasties.
1. Starting from the right hand side (if right handed lol)… Using your thumb and first finger, fold the corner up and press firmly.
2. Shift your thumb and finger position along a bit to where you’ve just pressed out, gently pull and repeat the process.
3. Repeat this process until all the edge has been done.
If you really can’t do this just make sure the pressed edges are really pressed firmly together… They will open when fried!
This recipe will make about 20 traditional Punjabi vegetable samosa’s… So keep going!
The oil needs to be fairly hot, it’s only the pastry that needs to cooked and you want them crispy!
Using a small bit of pastry, drop it in the oil to test it. If it drops to the bottom, bubbles and rises quite quickly, the oil is hot enough.
Gently place the samosa’s into the oil… Do not overcrowd your fryer!
Once fried place on kitchen paper to drain.
What to do now..
Best served hot, but delicious cold too… And they can be reheated in the oven. They can even be frozen and warmed through in the oven!
Tomato ketchup is the easiest accompaniment but you an also pimp it up.
In a small bowl add ketchup, a dash of mint sauce, chilli flakes, pinch of salt and garam masala and a couple of splashes of malt vinegar… Mix thoroughly and serve!
However you eat these lovely Punjabi vegetable samosa’s… Make sure you share them and enjoy them!
Coming soon… Bombay Train Company