By Sanchyeta Srivastava
I would like to dedicate this Indian snack recipe to my mother-in-law who taught me how to prepare it with her own hands. I am happy that I have learned this snack from her when she was alive. I am satisfied that I could pen down one of her cookery skills for the online viewers to read, learn, prepare, and relish them to the fullest.
Indians cannot resist thinking about the delicious ‘Samosa’ – a light stuffed fried Indian pastry triangular in shape in the shape of a water chestnut – especially at tea-time. This is one of the favorite snacks to offer your guests along with Indian chutneys as an accompaniment.
You can make delicious hot and crispy ‘Samosas’ for your guests. You’ll forget about the readymade Samosas available in the market, once you have tried making them at home with your own hands. Here is the Recipe.
Ingredients for Making Samosas:
2 cups double-sieved dry Wheat Flour (Maida)
2-3 tablespoon Cooking Oil or butter or ghee
Salt to taste
Some water to mix and knead
4-5 medium-sized round fresh raw Potatoes
1 small spoon Cumin (Jeera) Seeds
2-3 Dry Red Chilies
A pinch of Asafoetida or Heeng
1 small spoon Turmeric powder
1-2 teaspoon Coriander Powder
1 teaspoon roasted Cumin Powder
1 teaspoon Red Chili Powder or Black Pepper Powder
1-2 teaspoon Garam Masala (Dry Hot Spices)
Salt to taste
2-3 tablespoon Cooking Oil
Method for Making Dough:
In a bowl pour dry wheat flour. Add cooking oil or butter or ghee, and salt to taste. Add water for kneading. Make into thick mixture that should not be too soft and neither too hard. Keep in mind that the mixture should come out soft with elasticity effect.
Now, take out small quantity of the mixture and round it with both your hands in circular movement to make small round dough and keep it in a basket or container.
Note: Make even numbers of dough to pair them easily while preparing Samosas.
Method for Cooking Vegetables:
Wash, peel off and cut fresh raw potatoes into cubes or small pieces.
Heat cooking oil in a fry pan; add cumin seeds, broken dry red chilies and a pinch of asafoetida for tempering.
Then, add all the potato pieces and stir a little. Now add all the dry spices and salt to taste. Mix well and cook on medium flame throughout till done.
Do not add any water into it. If the vegetable begins to stick at the bottom, then you can only sprinkle some water to it. Put off flame when cooked and keep it aside for cooling.
The cooked vegetable is now ready for stuffing.
Note: Do not cover the lid while cooking and after the vegetable is cooked.
Method for Stuffing and Making Samosas:
Take the first dough, flatten a little with your palm, and place it on the circular rolling board. Sprinkle some dry flour over the dough.
Take the second dough, flatten it similar to the first dough, and place it on top of the first one. Then make flat round Chapatti (round paper-like flat dough) with the rolling-pin slowly and evenly so that both the dough is rolled flat evenly and nicely.
Heat (without any oil) a non-stick flat pan, place the round Chapatti on the pan and cook it on both sides. Remove the Chapatti, peel off to separate to two chapattis and place them in a basket or casserole.
Try and repeat the above steps again with other pairs of dough to make quite a lot of Chapattis.
Tips: Make sure that you make several pairs of dough beforehand. Don’t forget to sprinkle dry flour in between the flat dough to peel off easily when cooked.
When you finished with all the dough, place two or four flat Chapattis on the flat rolling board, and cut straight with a sharp knife down the chapattis to make three long strips and place them in the basket or casserole.
Note: Now you have total six long strips from two Chapattis, and 12 long strips from four Chapattis.
Take a small bowl, pour 2 teaspoon dry flour (Maida) and mix it with some water to make a thick consistency for making glue.
Now, take each strip in your hand one at a time. Glue the corner of the strip with your gentle fingers. Place the unbaked part of the strip face up on your palm, hold the right corner of the strip and fold it to the centre upwards, take it to the other side and wrap the cover and press a little. It will take the shape of a triangular cone.
Note: If it doesn’t come out neatly at first take. Try it with other strips and you will soon learn how to make a great and perfect cone.
Make some space inside the cone, and fill up with some Potato Vegetable for stuffing. Cover the top open part of the cone with the left out flap and press it gently downwards and then turn it backwards.
Whew! One triangular cone (un-fried Samosa) is ready. Yes, hard work and patience together won’t go wasted. Try with all the other strips with the same steps mentioned as above. You will become a perfect Samosa-maker by the time you finish with the last strip.
When you finish with all the (un-fried) Samosas, you can immediately deep fry them in hot low-fat cooking oil in a deep wok or Karaahi. Fry till light brown and crisp, and serve hot with Indian Mint or Tamarind Chutney or Tomato Ketchup.
Tips and Variations:
1. You can keep all the un-fried Samosas into the freezer for later use. Believe me, all of them will stay fresh for longer periods and they won’t get rotten when you take them out to fry on hot cooking oil.
Note: (For working or harried women) – You can make all the un-fried Samosas during weekends or holidays. You can offer hot and crispy Samosas and serve with Indian Chutneys when some unexpected guests arrive at odd times. You can also enjoy eating them with your family during tea-time on week days.
2. You can boil the potatoes instead of cooking raw. But, doing so, you cannot put the Samosas into the freezer for later use. It is then essential to fry all of them right away to savor fresh and crisp.
3. You can use other vegetables like green peas, finely chopped cauliflower for stuffing instead of or with potatoes. But, if Samosas are to be eaten later, then cook raw.
4. For Non-Vegetarian people – You can use boiled or raw boneless chicken or meat instead of potatoes or any vegetables.
5. Instead of using vegetables for stuffing, you can use cheddar cheese or paneer and cook it to make sweet stuffing and then fry them as usual. You can add grated or crushed assorted dry fruits for added flavor and taste. For different variety, you can dip each Samosa into Sugar Syrup after frying for giving it wet sweetening in flavor and taste.
6. For making dry sweet Samosas, do not add salt at the time of making dough. You can add some pinches of sugar powder instead. If you wish to dip Samosas into Sugar Syrup, then no need to add sugar powder while making dough.
7. If you wish to prepare Garam Masala (Dry Hot Spices) at home, then take equal amount of Big and small Cardamoms, Black Pepper pods, Cloves, Cumin Seeds, and some Cinnamon Sticks and dry grind them in a Food Processor Jar. For convenience, you can buy it from the market.