Vegetable Samosas…

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Samosas (in addition to papadums and naans) have to be one of India’s finest contributions to world cuisine. This recipe uses filo pastry and are baked rather than fried, they’re not quite as delicious as more traditional ones… but they are certainly acceptable as a healthy alternative. That reminds me… I really must get a deep fryer!

Ingredients for 10 samosas:

 

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  • 1 large onion, chopped.
  • 3 large potatoes, chopped small.
  • 1 tbsp of salted butter
  • 2 tbsp of heavy cream
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup cashew nuts, crushed.
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander / cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp amchoor / mango powder (if you are lucky enough to find it)
  • 1 red chili, deseeded and finely diced.
  • 1 packet of filo pastry
  • Olive oil
  • 1 small tub of greek natural yoghurt

 

Directions:

Lightly fry the onion in a little oil until translucent. Now peel and boil the potatoes for 15 minutes or until tender. At this point you can mash them or keep them diced finely, but either way, transfer them to a mixing bowl with the other filling ingredients. Mix thoroughly and season according to taste.

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At this point, clear as large of a space as you can and begin to lay out the filo pastry. Personally, I tend to keep two sheets together, fold them in half lengthways, and “tack” the edges together with a little olive oil. If you have a pastry brush this would be a good time to use it… if not, then just pour a small amount into a bowl and use your fingers! It is best to work very quickly at this point because you don’t want the pastry to dry out and crack as you begin to work with it. If you feel like being leisurely then you can always do one at a time and keep the rest of the pastry covered with a slightly damp cloth until you are ready to use it.

Now place 1-2 tbsp of the filling onto the bottom of each strip of pastry and fold over the bottom corner at 45° and continue to do this until you are left with a 1” strip at the top of the sheet. Now brush the top with a little oil and fold over and press down gently. Now brush the face of the parcel with a little more oil and then sprinkle over the sesame seeds. The moisture will allow the seeds to stick to the parcels whilst cooking (and hopefully whilst eating).

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When you have made all of the samosas, place them on a baking tray lined with parchment and bake in a 375F oven until golden. It will probably be around 20 minutes and require turning once.

If you found my very inarticulate description of how to fold a parcel unclear, then here is a link to site where I “borrowed” the above diagram.

http://www.dilip.info/filo.html

Whilst the parcels are cooking, get the plates ready with some salad and greek yoghurt and serve as soon as the parcels are ready. If you have any left over they also make a very tasty cold snack the next day! Not so good in the microwave though…

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Variations:

If you would like a meat version then you could fry some minced lamb or beef with the onion and follow the recipe as normal.

You could also create different shapes of parcels with filo pastry. One of my personal favorites is the “Beggars Purse” which could even use a chive as the drawstring! Maybe a little excessive for a weeknight dinner, but as they always say… “The first taste is with the eye”.

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