Wednesday, February 16, 2011


oil for frying
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 T water
samosa pastry skins

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Ingredients for the pastry:
2 cups Durum Atta flour
2 T oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups cold water (enough to bind the dough)
extra flour for dusting
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon flour

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Ingredients for potato filling:
1 pound potatoes, cooked whole, peeled, and diced small (do this step first)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 T oil
1 T fresh ginger, grated
1/2 T garlic, grated
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
1 teaspoon salt
2 T lime juice, fresh (to taste)
1/4 cup cilantro, washed, squeezed dry, and chopped
5 green chiles (like Thai birds), minced (leave the seeds out for less heat)

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Ingredients for the chicken filling:
1 T oil
1/4 medium yellow onion, medium dice
2 green onions, diced (this is optional, if you don't use green onions, increase the yellow onion to 1/2 an onion rather than 1/4)
1 T fresh ginger, grated
1/2 T garlic, grated
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground chicken
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
2 T lime juice
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup cilantro, washed, squeezed dry, and chopped
Preparing the dough:
Combine the flour, oil, and salt in a large bowl and mix until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add enough cold water to bind the dough. Knead the dough until it is neither sticky nor hard. Cover with a damp cloth for at least 30 minutes. When dough is done resting, heat a cast-iron griddle or pan over medium heat.

Pull about a tablespoon of dough off and roll it into a ball an inch in diameter. Flatten the ball and dredge it completely in flour. Roll it out to about 3 inches in diameter. Repeat until you have five of these 3-inch circles.

Mix 1/3 cup of oil and a teaspoon of the Durum Atta flour to create a paste. Spread a teaspoon of the oil and flour mixture onto one of the dough circles. Place another dough circle on top. Repeat until you have a stack of 5 dough circles.

Sprinkle flour on your work surface and roll from the center out, flipping every so often to ensure the sheets are uniform in size. Roll the entire thing out until it is about 7 inches in diameter. Toss the flattened stack of dough onto the griddle for 30 seconds. Flip the dough over and cook for another 30 seconds. Flip again. If the layers begin to separate, start peeling them carefully. If not, cook each side for 15 seconds longer and flip. When the middle begins to puff up, turn the heat to medium low and start peeling the layers off. They should come off easily and as thin sheets at this point. Stack the par-cooked skins under a damp towel - keep them covered to keep them from drying out.

Cut each circle in half and trim the edges to make a trapezoid. Keep the trapezoids under a damp towel until ready to fill. Each cup of flour should yield approximately 14 balls of dough (so 28 pastries per cup of flour). Repeat the process for the rest of the dough.

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Preparing the potato filling:
Boil your potatoes whole. Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a small saucepan until they become fragrant. Do not brown. Remove from heat and let cool. When cooled, grind the spices. Heat oil in a sauté pan on medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the ginger and garlic and stir about until fragrant. Turn the heat down to medium. Stir in the turmeric and cayenne. Add the potatoes and mix to coat the potatoes with the spices and oil. Sprinkle the salt over the potatoes, add the peas, add the ground toasted spices (cumin and coriander), and a tablespoon of lime juice. Mix it all together until the peas are cooked. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining lime juice, cilantro, and diced green chiles to taste.

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Preparing the chicken filling:
Heat the oil in a sauté pan on high heat. Add the yellow onion and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Mix in the ginger, garlic, and salt. Add the ground chicken to the pan and brown the meat, making sure to break up any large clumps. Sprinkle the turmeric powder over the chicken. When the chicken is cooked, add the green onions and the garam masala and mix together. Add a tablespoon of lime juice and simmer the chicken until the liquid dries out. Remove from heat and pulse the chicken in your food processor just a few times until the clumps are basically ground out. (Large clumps make stuffing the samosas a pain). Stir in the cayenne, remaining lime juice, and cilantro.

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Assembling and cooking the samosas:
Heat 3 to 4 inches of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Mix the flour and water together in a small bowl to create a thin paste. Use this slurry to seal any holes and to seal seams.

Take one of the trapezoidal pastry skins and fold the two corners of the longer edge up toward the center of the shorter edge. Adjust the corners until the base of the cone is closed (i.e. no leaks). Smear slurry between the overlapping parts of the pastry to seal the cone in place. Fill the cone to just below the horizontal edge with potato or chicken filling. It is important to avoid overfilling. Smear more slurry on the two rabbit ears (the corners protruding out the top of the cone) and fold the rabbit ears down to seal the contents of the samosa into a neat triangular package. If there are any holes or gaps, fill them with some slurry. Repeat for the rest of the batch.

When the oil is hot enough, 350 degrees F, gently drop the samosas into the pot. Don't overcrowd. Fry 3 to 4 at a time. The samosas are ready when the pastry turns a nice golden color. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels or cooling rack. These can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated in a 350 degrees F oven for 5 to 7 minutes a side.

Makes approximately 48 samosas


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