This colorful cookbook, Indian: The Cookbook, packaged in a traditional Indian rice bag drew my husband and my attention at a local book store yesterday. We love Inidan food but there is no Indian takeaway here in Dordrecht (can you believe that?!). I always wanted to give a try at Indian cooking, but was always put off by the long list of exotic- and unfamiliar-sounding ingredients. This book helped me to overcome that as it has a rich glossary of Indian ingredients, which teaches me what the ingredients are and how they taste like - so if I can't find any of them, I could try to replace them with other spices of similar flavor.
So here's my first go! As I couldn't find any ghee, I used butter instead. The samosas were yummy, but they didn't look that pretty and were so spicy (!) - so I added quite some sugar to bring the heat down, and will definitely half the chilli powder and green chilli next time. Also the pastry was a bit dull and tough, so next time I will add 1 or 2 tbsp of vegetable oil and some salt to the dough. I hope I can find those rectangular samosa pads, so I could make beautiful triangular samosas next time. But overall, the first go at Indian cooking was fun, and I look forward to cooking more with this new cookbook!
For the pastry -
500g plain flour, plus some more for dusting
180ml warm water
oil, for deep frying
For the filling -
1tsp cumin seed
1tsp ground coriander
1tsp ground turmeric
1tsp chilli powder
5cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
4 green chilli, finely chopped
4 tbsp butter
1 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
1. Cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain well, then mash.
2. Cook the peas in a pan of boiling water for 5 to 7 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix the flour with enough water to make a stiff dough. Make into 10 dough balls, and cover them with a damp cloth.
4. Heat the oil in a pan over medium high heat. Fry the cumin seeds for about 15 seconds. Add the ginger, green chilli, ground coriander, ground turmeric, and chilli powder, and fry for a minute. Add the mashed potato and peas, and cook for a minute. Then add the finely chopped coriander and fry for another minute. Season with salt and sugar. Remove pan from the heat.
5. On a floured surface, roll the dough balls into rounds of 12cm, and make 10. Brush the edge of the pastry with a little water, spoon the potato filling in the middle of the pastry, and then press the dampened edges to seal it.
6. Deep fry the samosas in batches in hot oil (180 degree C) for 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Drain well on a kitchen paper.