A few days back when Richa of 'As Dear As Salt' announced that the theme for this month's RCI event is Cuisine from Punjab, I knew what I was going to make. RCI is an event that has been started by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine.
Over the years, Punjabi food has gathered a fan following not only in India but also overseas, although authentic Punjabi food is very hard to find, amidst the restaurant made similar looking and tasting gravies. My memories of an authentic Punjabi meal are attached to the famous city of Chandigarh. My parents and me were visiting this city and we were craving for good, earthy food. That is when our driver suggested this place called 'Pal da Dhaba'. He warned us though, that this was a typical dhaba with no glimmer & glitz, but the food was to die for...we were sold on the idea and we had not only lunch over there but also dinner! The taste and aroma of their rajma still lingers on my tongue. I also noticed a very unusual thing there...the rotis were free!!! One could eat as many rotis as they wanted without any charge. When asked the reason behind this, the owner, very humbly and lovingly replied that, it did not feel right to charge people for rotis. I was so impressed!
For this event I decided to start off with the ever popular appetizer/snack--- Samosas. I have been planning to make Samosas at home ever since the time I got married, 3 years back...I know, its long pending ;) We do get amazing Samosas at our Indian store and almost every weekend my dearest hubby gets some for both of us after his game of cricket (the ground where he goes to play is so conveniently located next to the store :)). Anyways, this time I decided to surprise him. I specifically told him not to get any Samosas because we were eating too much fried stuff lately...thats it no more questions from him, my plan had worked ;).
On Monday afternoon, with the temperature hitting 90 degrees F, I started my long overdue-- 'Project Samosa'. It took me about an hour and a half to finish making the samosas. At one point I felt like submerging myself in a pool of cold water like a Hippo, with the blazing summer heat and the heat from the stove... but I was determined and nothing would stop me. The end result was a very happy one. My hubby was really surprised (as per my plan), and couldn't wait to try them out, and when he did he couldn't stop...what else could a girl ask for ;)
Ingredients: (makes 10 medium sized Samosas)
For the outer covering:
Maida (All purpose flour) 1 cup
Oil 2 tsp
Warm water to make the dough
A pinch of salt
For the stuffing:
Potatoes 3 medium sized
Green chillies 2-3
Ginger a small piece
Dhane (coriander seeds) 1 tsp
Badishep (fennel seeds) 1 tsp
Amchur powder (dry mango pwdr) 1tsp
Cayenne pepper 1/2 tsp (optional)
Salt to taste
Oil 2 tsp
Jeere (cumin seeds) 1/2 tsp
Hing 1/4 tsp
Halad (Turmeric) 1/2 tsp
Oil to fry the Samosas.
Cook the potatoes in a pressure cooker or microwave. Let them cool. Once cooled peel off the skins and mash them. Make ginger-chilli paste. Grind the coriander seeds and fennel seeds coarsely.
Next prepare the dough for the outer cover of the Samosa. Heat the oil a little bit and then mix it in the maida along with a pinch of salt. Mix this well with your hand. The right quantity of oil will make the maida stick together when you press with your hand. Once this is done, add some warm water and make a dough. This dough should not be too loose nor too tight, otherwise it will be difficult to spread it. Cover and keep aside for 20 minutes.
While the dough is resting, prepare the stuffing. In a pan/kadhai, heat 2 tsp of oil. Add jeera and when it starts sizzling, add hing and halad. Next, mix in the ginger-chilli paste and fry for a minute. To this, add the coriander-fennel powder and fry for a few minutes. Then add the mashed potatoes, cayenne pepper, amchur powder and salt. Mix well and finally garnish with some cilantro.
In a kadhai, start heating the oil to fry the Samosas. Make sure that you fry them on medium high heat, otherwise they will turn brown from the outside and remain uncooked on the inside, and you will end up with oily Samosas. Now comes the time to assemble the Samosas...
Take a small ball of dough (depending on how big you want your samosas to be) and roll it out like this...
Cut it into half like so,
Now work with each half separately. Take one half, fold it like this,
Then, apply a little water to the unfolded end and fold it to overlap the first one, and stick it like so,
Now pick up the cone carefully in your hand and fill it with the potato stuffing...
Apply a little water on the open edge of the cone and seal it well...
Slip the Samosa in the kadhai and fry till golden brown. Make sure you maintain the heat of the oil. It should not get too hot or too cold.
Remove them and drain on a tissue paper. Serve with some green or tamarind chutney.
The Verdict : I am so glad I tried it out...the next time I won't wait for another 3 years and my hubby agrees ;)
Thanks Richa for hosting! Here is another look,