It's a nice morning, its sunny and warm and I am planning to make a cake, maybe an elaborate meal, maybe go out and get the flowers I bought last week planted , maybe weed a bit......but all end up castles in the air, as finally my little one decides what I should do and should not do and zaps my energy.
My friend calls up and asks me if I am going to buy potatoes.. I hedge and say I don't feel like going out, thinking she is asking me to leave the comfort of my home on such a busy day..but she was just saying..don't buy potatoes, she just bought a sack of giant oversized baking potatoes and was sending some over.
So how big can they be? Well, they turn out to be a pound each, about the size of my palm and fat. What is the first thing that would come to your mind with potatoes?
Puri Bhaji? Aloo subji? Baked potatoes? Mashed potatoes?
Guess where my mind wandered to? Samosas..Giant crisp hot, mouth burning hot samosas!
I don't usually bother making these Potato samosas... the Delhi style.. love those monstrous sized flaky pastry filled with spiced potatoes, not like the petite Malabar meat samosas and not like the cocktail itsy bitsy samosas made in spring roll wrappers. We usually drive down to buy these samosas from a restaurant nearby or just use the freezer ones.
In my days in Delhi, there was a wonderful samosa shop in our shopping area...walking distance, no need for a car!!
Some evenings,(when mom didn't make something yummy) I used to run down to that halwai and order a fresh batch of samosas and garam garam jalebis.
You can't enter the shop..its a dirty mess of cooking..more like a kitchen in action..people hustling about, kneading, pouring, mixing..all labor intensive actions, while the halwai, a jovial fat guy in a dhoti sat near a couple of large cast iron woks, stirring and frying jalebis in one and samosas in the other.
Visions were flashing... waiting for the fresh samosas to be dunked into the oil..they sink deep down into the wat of oil as they are slid in and then surface up for air as they get fried and puff up. ...and the rush to get home before it cools down and then munching them with pudina/Mint chutney and tamarind chutney..and hot dripping jalebis!!
For me, samosas and jalebis always go together...now though they are both in a different country and divorced and living separately. The crust of those samosas were like eating Matri, a flaky crunchy fried circle of maida that's eaten with tea/coffee as a snack.
Anyway, I had to make them and I did have a recipe that I used to use in my torn old book. My crust is not as flaky as the store bought one but then that's due to the water I mix the dough. For flakier crust, use more oil and very little water. It's almost like making pastry dough. And though the size of these samosas turned out to be small( i can only make the Malabar sized ones!!) and the taste is nowhere near the ones from my memories, the exercise in making these samosas was fun.
You Will Need:
Potatoes: 250 gm, or two giant baking potatoes
Onion- 1 medium sized one
Ginger Grated-1 tsp
Green Peas- 1 cup cooked
Coriander(whole) -1 tsp, crushed coarsely
Cumin seeds-1 tsp
Aamchoor/Dry Mango Powder-1 tsp
Red Chili Powder-1 tsp
Garam Masala powder- a pinch.
Cilantro leaves- 3 tbsp chopped
Boil the potatoes (as a whole in the pressure cooker or cut up and boiled in lots of water and drained.)Peel the potatoes and smash them into small pieces. There should be some tiny lumps, not big chinks.
Chop the onions finely and fry them in very little oil till they turn transparent and then add the chilies, ginger, boiled peas, crushed coriander, and all other spices. Add the potatoes too and mix well. Taste and add salt as needed. Add more or less of spices. It should be spicy and tangy. Add the cilantro leaves in the end.
Prepare the dough: Mix 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour with 1/2 cup whole wheat and 1/2 tsp salt. Add 3 tbsp heated ghee or oil and mix well into crumbles. Add water little by little( you will need about 1 cup of water) till it forms into a tight but pliable dough. Use more oil and less water if you prefer. Let it rest for at least 20 minutes before rolling out. The crust doesn't puff up like puris, just stays as layers and layers of crispiness. Piercing the rolled dough before filling it helps. If the dough feels too springy, let it rest for a minute in between rolling out.
I make the samosas by rolling out the dough into a big thick circle and then cutting it into 4. See the photorial here. But this is another method I saw online and maybe easier for most people. For me, the quarter method is much faster, though the samosas are smaller..maybe better for our waists.:)
Divide the dough into equal balls. Apply a little dry flour to each ball when rolling into a circle of 4″ diameter. Cut each circle into two and lightly dampen the edges of each semicircle with water. Shape each semicircle onto a cone by pressing the cut edges together. Place a spoonful of the potato-pea filling into the cone and seal the edges well (apply some water on the edges if they do not seal well). Repeat this procedure with the rest of the balls.
Deep fry in medium-hot peanut oil in batches on medium flame till crisp and golden brown. Remove onto a paper towel. Serve with pudina and tamarind chutney.