The samosa is one of the world’s perfect foods – crispy, savory, spicy, and easy to eat on the go or as part of a meal. As far as I’m concerned, the only ones that are worth pursuing are the traditional vegetarian variety. I’ve had my share of meat-filled samosas, or ones where the chef tries to get cute and sticks cashews or walnuts in, but I’m a purist – give me potatoes and peas or give me nothing!
Although I’ve made samosa filling before, I’ve always been too intimidated, both by the dough and the frying, to try the whole shebang. This recipe allowed me to bake them, which is more in my comfort zone. I’m too much of a klutz to mess around with a giant pot of boiling oil in the kitchen. I’ve also never used storebought filo dough before, so making these samosas was a grand experiment all around! I took the result to a barbecue, and the whole plate was gone before I knew it. I’m no sciencetician, but I think that means people liked it.
The best thing about making your own samosas is that you’re in total control of the filling – you can put anything at all in the middle of one and make it taste EXACTLY how you most like it to taste. For me, that meant adding a healthy dose of Sriracha into the recipe (thank you once again, BBC food). Delicious, delicious fire sauce…
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ tsp ground mustard
- 60g/2½oz chopped onion
- 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
- 60g/2½oz frozen peas
- 1 tbsp ground coriander (I could only find seeds, so I ground them myself with a mortar and pestle)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp red chili powder
- ½-¾ tsp garam masala
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tbsp Sriracha chili sauce
- salt, to taste
- 600g/1lb 5oz potatoes, peeled, boiled until soft and crushed into large lumps
- 1 packet ready-made filo dough
- 5 tbsp melted butter, for brushing
As I mentioned in the beginning, I’m an aficionado of the samosa, and there are a few things I would change. The filo dough turned out amazingly crispy, but the end result tasted of butter – certainly not a bad thing, but not a taste I associate with samosas. The next time I make these I may try brushing the filo with olive oil. I’ll probably also take a stab at making them with puff pastry at some point, and then maybe I’ll finally get around to making the real thing by hand. Nonetheless, these hit the spot!
Extra Bonus Round:
Turns out, not bad, but a bit on the oily side. To make them really sing the tapenade would need something to balance it out a little – the yummy olive taste overpowered the filo and butter tastes. The beginning of future mad scientist experiments? Perhaps…