It’s the Indian Festival of Lights, Diwali, next week – this means busy kitchens in most Indian homes with preparation of traditional savouries and sweet goodies. This includes samoosas which are a firm favorite and a must for special occasions.
The samoosa has been a popular snack in South Asia for centuries – it is believed to have originated in Persia prior to the 10th century and brought to India, where it is so famous, by Muslim traders and soldiers. Small crisp, mince-filled samoosas were easy to make around campfires during night halts, then conveniently packed into saddlebags as snacks for the next day’s journey.
With ready-made samoosa strips now available in most supermarkets – it’s easy and less time consuming to make your own samoosas. I want to share my recipe for a chicken mince filling and explain how to make a samoosa.
The three basic steps for making a samoosa:
1.Cook the filling for the samoosa.
2.Make a paste for the samoosa pastry
3.The ready-made samoosa strips must be at room temperature
Samoosas can be made in advance and stored in the freezer until needed and then fried in deep oil before being served.
SAMOOSA FILLING- CHICKEN MINCE
500g chicken mince
2 medium onion, very thinly sliced and chopped
2tsp ground or finely chopped green chillies (adjust according to taste)
1 tsp salt
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp cardamon ground
1 tsp fresh ginger, crushed
1 tsp garlic,crushed
1 tsp gharum masala
1 ½ tsp chilli powder (adjust according to taste)
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp crushed cumin seeds
1 Tablespoon ghee
½ bunch finely chopped coriander
2 Tablespoon finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoon finely chopped mint
Wash and drain mince.
Braise in frying pan in ghee and when it begins to get dry add the cinnamon sticks and cloves.
Cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the ginger, garlic, salt, turmeric green chillies, pepper and chilli powder.
Mix well then add the balance of the spices.
Add half of the onions.
Mix well and braise until all the moisture is evaporated.
The mince should be dry like breadcrumbs otherwise your samoosas will be soggy.
Cool the mince mixture.
Add the chopped coriander, mint and shallots and balance of onions.
The filling is now ready.
For the samoosa paste
1/2 cup cake flour
Add some cold water to form a thick paste.
1 packet of ready- made samoosa strips
Set up your working area with the filling, paste and samoosa strips.
Separate a few of the samoosa strips – keep the balance of the pastry covered with a damp dishcloth or a plastic sheet – this is to prevent the pastry from drying out.
Place a strip of pastry on your working surface. Starting from one corner fold the pastry to form a triangular pocket. (the picture shows the different stages of folding the samoosa).
Place a teaspoon of the chicken filling into the pocket. Continue folding the pastry until you get to the last piece of the pastry. Smear the samoosa paste onto the last piece of the pastry.
Now finish off folding the samoosa – you should have a perfect triangular samoosa which now only needs to be fried.
Fry in deep oil over medium heat, turning the samoosa few times – this helps to make the pastry crisp.
Drain well and wipe of any excess oil with a paper towel.
Serve with some chutneys /dipping sauces.