Samosas hail from northern India, and there are countless ways to prepare them. Some people favor meat or chicken fillings, but the most popular samosas by far are the ones with a potato and green pea filling.
That is how Johnson County Community College chef apprentice Antwoine King likes his samosas. His favorite samosa memory is from when he worked at Bannister Mall in Kansas City.
“I was introduced to them from the wives of other workers in the mall,” King says. “They would share them with me, and I have enjoyed them ever since.”
Making traditional samosa at home is not as difficult as you think.
“The key is preparation,” King says. “They are great for parties. They kind of remind me of a Hot Pocket.”
For the pastry he uses ghee, or clarified butter, which is seasoned and gives it more flavor. Ghee and all the spices and ingredients required for this recipe are available at Indian grocery stores.
After the dough is rolled and cut, the potato and pea filing is added, and then shaped into a cone and sealed. King says using an egg white and water mixture will hold the dough together when folding.
After deep frying in medium hot oil, you will have a savory puff pastry that can be served as an appetizer or side dish.
Antwoine King is a third-year student in the Chef Apprentice and Hospitality Management Program at Johnson County Community College. He works as a chef in the cafeteria at Rockhurst University.
Makes 16 samosas
For the pickled onions:
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
For the chutney:
1 large peeled raw carrot
10 sprigs cilantro
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon lime pickles (Pakal brand)
1/4 teaspoon salt, kosher
For the dough:
1 cup highly refined wheat flour (maida)
1/2 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain), optional
3 tablespoons ghee
Salt to taste
For the filling:
1/2 cup shelled green peas
2 russet potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1-inch piece fresh ginger root, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped green chilies, or to taste
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur)
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
2 eggs, for egg wash, whisked with 1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves, garnish
1 quart vegetable oil, for deep frying
To make pickled red onions: Place onions in small nonmetallic container with a lid. Toss onions with lime juice, salt and sugar. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Pickled onions will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
To make the carrot chutney: Combine carrots, cilantro, lime juice, lime pickles and salt in a blender or work bowl of a heavy-duty food processor (or chop first) and pulse to form a puree. Chutney will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To make the dough: In a mixing bowl, combine flour, carom seeds, ghee and salt. Mix together by hand, adding water little by little, kneading until a firm dough forms. Keep the dough under a wet cloth so it does not dry out while preparing the filling.
To make the filling: Cook peas in boiling salted water until tender, about 2 minutes. Refresh in cold water. Drain and set aside.
Cook potatoes in boiling water with the cover on. They are done when a knife slides easily into the center. Drain and set aside.
Heat oil in a skillet. When oil shimmers, add cumin seeds. When the cumin starts to change color, add ginger and green chilies and allow to cook for 1 minute. Add red chili powder, salt, dry mango powder and garam masala powder. Stir well to combine.
Add potatoes and peas to the skillet and heat for 2 minutes, or until the filling and spices are well combined.
To make samosas: Divide the dough into 16 equal portions and roll them into balls. Sprinkle a little flour on a flat work surface and using a rolling pin, roll balls into 4- by 6-inch rectangles. Place filling on top corner of the rectangle and fold in triangles. With your finger or a pastry brush, apply egg wash on the edges of the dough and squeeze together to make a tight seal. Place finished samosa on a baking tray until ready to fry. Repeat the process with the remaining dough and filling.
To fry: Pour 1 quart vegetable oil into a 4-quart saucepan. Heat oil on medium high heat and deep fry until samosa turns crisp and golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Carefully remove the samosa with a slotted spoon or fryer strainer, and drain on absorbent paper towel. Repeat the process until all samosas have been fried.
Serve hot with cilantro, pickled onions and carrot chutney.
Per samosa: 222 calories (75 percent from fat), 19 grams total fat (4 grams saturated), 33 milligrams cholesterol, 11 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 204 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.