Friday, 8 November 2013

Vegetable samosas

My trip to India 10 years ago was my first time outside Europe. And in many ways... a real eye-opener. As well as confusing. And infuriating. And frustrating. And interesting. It was also time before digital cameras and my current companion and partner in crime, Canon.

India is many things (dirty, chaotic, exotic, colourful, appallingly indifferent to most fundamental human rights), but for a vegetarian it's a dream. Food is great and so fantastically seasoned your taste buds never even get a chance to miss meat. One of my favourite snacks is samosa.

Much like other filled dough parcels such as pelmenis, raviolis and dim sums you could hide just about anything in these.  This time I made vegetarian versions. The shell can be made with regular flour too (or with a mixture of the two) but for these I made the dough with chick pea flour which makes them gluten-free. Chickpea flour has so far been used in tortillitas de camarones, but it also makes for such an easily manageable dough that I intend to use for pies in the future too. Coeliac colleagues are looking forward to that one...

To go with the samosas I made raitha, tzatziki-like Indian yoghurt dip. That too comes with numerous variations so you can use cucumber, carrot (or both) or even some fruits (such as pineapple) if you fancy. Its purpose is to cool the palate after the spiciness of many Indian cooking. That mango-chilli-sauce I served the coconut prawns with would work too.

20 small samosas, 10 larger ones

Regular dough:

2,5 dl flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil

Chickpea flour dough:

3,5 dl chickpea flour
1 tl salt
3 tbsp oil
about 1/2 dl water

Rub the flour and oil to a crumbly mixture. Then add water, little at a time until you have a soft, elastic dough that sticks together. Wrap in clingfilm and let rest in cold. In the meanwhile make the filling.


1 potato
1 small carrot (or 1/2 a bigger one)
1 small onion
50 g peas
1 green chilli
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp corianderseeds
1 green chilli
1/2 tsp cardamom
3/4 tsp curry powder or garam masala
the juice and zest of 1/2 limes
a small handful of chopped coriander leaves

Peel and cube the potato and carrot. It's bets to chop them fairly small, about the size of a pea - that way not only do they cook quickly, but there's a smaller risk of them breaking through the shells as you're filling the samosas. Steam or boil until done. Heat some oil in a pan, add finely chopped chilli, garlic and ginger, zest and juice of lime and the spices. Toss them around for a bit and then add potato and carrot. Stir so the spices are evenly distributed and then add the peas. Continue cooking until the peas are hot all the way through. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped coriander leaves. Let cool.

Divide the dough into 10 portions and roll into thin circles with a 13- centimetre diameter. Keep them covered until they're ready to be filled - otherwise they dry and are more difficult to manoeuvre.  When you're ready  to fill them, cut the circles in half, brush the cut edge with a little water, wrap it into a cone pressing the seam together and nestling the cone inside your fist, fill them. Brush the upper edge with water too and pinch shut. 

Heat oil in a big pot and fry the samosas in hot oil (180°) until golden and crisp a couple of samosas at a time. Remember to keep monitoring the temperature between batches. Drain on kitchen towels and serve with chutney and/ or raitha.


250 g Greek yogurt
1/2 cucumber
1 small carrot or 1/2 of a bigger one
the juice of 1 lime
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground corianderseeds
1 generous tbsp finely minced mint leaves

Combine the ingredients to a smooth mixture and let sit in the cold for at least an hour before serving.




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