Friday, November 27, 2015

Crispy Baked Samosas with Potatoes and Peas

I'm in a post-Thanksgiving daze right now.  I am exhausted from the work of hosting 35 people here for dinner and far more than that for dessert.  It was a wonderful, beautiful day, but it was also tiring, and I didn't sleep well last night.  I am sitting on the couch in my pajamas looking around at empty glasses and water bottles, knowing that my dining room is still a hot mess.  There's a lot of work ahead of me to get this place back into shape, but for now I will drink some coffee, eat a leftover pecan roll, and bask in the glow of a great Thanksgiving.

These baked samosas have nothing whatsoever to do with a Thanksgiving, but if you're already sick of turkey and cranberry sauce, they could be a good thing to do this weekend with your free time.  They are a bit time consuming, but they aren't hard.  I spent a couple hours on a Monday night making this elaborate Indian meal for myself; I was happy to share some samosas with Christy the next night when she and Joey (and Logan) came over to clean my carpets in preparation for Thanksgiving.  You know I've made a good samosa when even non-vegetarians appreciate them!

What is a samosa, you might be wondering?  I've been obsessed with them for years.  They are Indian dumplings, usually stuffed with spiced vegetables that include potatoes and peas (and caramelized onions!).  They are spicy and flavorful (ginger and cumin and garam masala and cilantro!) and amazing, and these samosas are no exception.  As I said before, they do take some time, as you have to make the filling, assemble the samosas, and bake them.  I recommend going to the original website to see the step-by-step pictures of how to fold the samosas properly.  Even looking at the pictures, it still took me some time to get it down, but once I did, I was on a roll.  And they were so worth the work.  Serve them with some roasted broccoli and carrots and you've got dinner.


crispy baked samosas with potatoes and peas
from The Kitchn
makes about 2 dozen samosas

1 1/2 pounds yellow potatoes (2 large)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated on a microplane
1 medium hot chili, finely diced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
3/4 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro, loosely packed
1 package egg roll wrappers, 6"x6"
1 large egg for egg wash


1) Place the potatoes in medium saucepan and cover with an inch of water.  Add a teaspoon of salt to the water, then bring to a boil.  Lower the heat until the water comes to a simmer, then look the potatoes until tender when pierced with a fork, 10 to 20 minutes depending on size.  Remove the potatoes from the water and let them cool briefly.

2) While the potatoes are cooking, cook the onions. Warm a teaspoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and half a teaspoon of salt, and cook until the onions are a deep golden brown.

3) When the potatoes have cooled enough to handle, roughly chop them into small cubes no larger than 1/2 inch.  Stir the potatoes into the onion mixture, along with the minced ginger and chili.  Add the spices and another 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Stir in the peas and cilantro, and cook just until the peas are warm.  Taste the mixture and add more salt or other spices if desired - samosas are meant to be strongly spiced so don't hold back!  Remove the pan from heat one you like the way the mixture tastes.

4) Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

5) To assembly samosas, first arrange your workspace.  Place the egg roll wrappers and a small container of water to one side, and the pan of filling to the other.  Place on wrapper on your work surface and cut it on the diagonal into two triangles.  Use your finger to dab a little water into a cone by folding the long edge of the triangle in the middle and then overlapping the two sides.  Pinch the cup closed and hold it in your hand like an ice cream cone.

6) Fill the cone with roughly 1/4 cup of the filling.  Tuck the bottom flap over the filling, then fold the top flap down.  Seal it closed with a little water.  You can pinch the corners closed if you like, but the filling will stay nicely inside without doing so.  If a stray pea falls out, just poke it back inside.

7) Lay the finished samosa on the baking sheet with the seam facing up.  Continue assembling all the samosas, spacing them slightly apart on the baking sheet.  Whisk the egg with a tablespoon of water, and brush over the tops of the samosas.  This will give them a nice golden color and help them crisp.

8) Bake the samosas for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tips are golden and crispy and the middles are firm but slightly flexible.  You should also see small round bubbles forming just beneath the surface of the wrapper.  They will keep at room temperature for about 2 hours before needing to be refrigerated.  Samosas will keep refrigerated for up to 5 days and can be eaten as is, warmed in the microwave, or re-crisped in a warm oven.  Alternately, you can freeze unbaked samosas in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment.  Once frozen solid, collect them in a freezer bag or container and keep frozen for up to 3 months.  Bake in the oven at 425 until crisp and warmed through.

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