You can buy ready-made samosas – fried cone-shaped pastries usually filled with vegetables – at every corner shop in India. But the homemade version is much nicer and can be made in a range of sizes, depending on whether you want to serve them as cocktail nibbles or as a starter or lunch snack. Samosas can be filled with vegetables, meat, seafood or even chocolate! Serve these savoury vegetable versions with Green Chutney.
2 sheets ready-made shortcrust (pie) pastry
vegetable or canola oil for deep-frying
1 cup diced mixed vegetables, choosing 4 of the following:
1 small potato, peeled and finely diced
1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
50 g (2 oz/¼ cup) corn kernels cut from the cob
½ small sweet potato, peeled and diced
6 green beans, trimmed and diced
40 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) shelled fresh or frozen peas
2 cauliflower florets, each cut lengthwise into 8 pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
½ teaspoon chilli powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
½–1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
To make the filling, cook the vegetables of your choice in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water over a medium heat until they are just tender. As a guide, cook the potato for 4 minutes; add the carrot, corn and sweet potato and cook for a further 2 minutes; then add the beans, peas and cauliflower and cook for a final 2 minutes. Drain.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin, coriander, chilli powder, turmeric, salt and cooked vegetables, mix together well and cook for about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Cut the sheets of pastry into ovals: make ovals 7.5 cm in length for small samosas and ovals 15 cm in length for large samosas. Now cut each oval in half across the width of the oval – you now have narrow hemisphere shapes of pastry. Fold the corners on the straight side of each hemisphere inwards. Lightly moisten the edges of each hemisphere with water, then bring the two edges to meet, pinch them together and shape the pastry into a cone. Place a little of the filling in each cone, then fold over the top of the pastry to cover the filling and seal the samosa.
Heat the oil in a wok or deep-fryer to 180°C. Fry a few samosas at a time until light brown and the pastry is cooked – about 5 minutes for small samosas and 7 minutes for large samosas. Drain on kitchen towels and serve hot.
This recipe first appeared in Spice Kitchen by Ragini Dey ($45).