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Samosas


Suvir Saran
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In my experience, samosas are not usually made with a lot of fat in the dough. That could be why your crusts were too delicate? My recipe uses just a small amount of vegetable oil in the dough.

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In my experience, samosas are not usually made with a lot of fat in the dough.  That could be why your crusts were too delicate?  My recipe uses just a small amount of vegetable oil in the dough.

yes exactly pretty much just like a flour tortilla!

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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I've heard of the flour tortilla idea. I've also heard of a method that basically seems to involve making flour tortillas and then filling them and frying them (so the crust gets pan-fried first, and then deep fried). I think I might try with commercial tortillas.

I think the fact that I kept all of my ingredients ice-cold (as for pie crust) was a problem. I used vegetable shortening (which I had frozen), because that's what the recipe I had called for. But I would have no problem using butter (or ghee).

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I made my first Samosas from a recipe by Julie Sahni that I found in the Feb. March 1998 Issue of Fine Cooking. They turned out perfectly the very first time. It is much more detailed than the recipe in her book.

It is very, very important to do the rubbing in of the flour as she explains it. It can't be cut in like a Western pastry.

It is equally important to knead for the full 10 minutes. The second time I made them I didn't knead them long enough and the pastry texture was not nice at all.

So remember to rub in the fat and knead well.

I had never heard of using flour tortillas but it might work as the texture when fried is somewhat similar.

I don't care for the ones that are made with filo pastry. They just don't ring true to me.

Samosa recipe

I found the recipe on the magazine's web site.

Edited by BarbaraY (log)
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We did the second round of samosa-making last night, following much of the advice from this thread. They were amazing. First of all, I recommend using slightly "aged" filling. But more importantly, the crust was heavenly, light and flaky, but crisp and sturdy enough to hold in that filling at the same time. Thank you so much for all of your help!

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I recently replied to a thread in the pastry forum about samosas, but with no luck.  I thought I might get a better response here, since samosas are savory.

Recently, a friend and I made homeade samosas for the first time.  We tried two fillings, one potato-based and one beef-based.  Both fillings were excellent.

Our main difficulty was the crust.  In the pastry forum, there is a thread that gives loose instructions based on two different Julie Sahni recipes.  One contains yogurt and baking soda, the other does not.  We did a side-by-side comparison of both recipes, and we both preferred the yogurt/baking-soda version.  We tried both shallow frying and baking.

Both crusts were tasty, but not exactly what we were looking for.  The baked ones did not brown evenly, and while they were crisp (the dough contains quite a bit of fat), they did not have the wonderful texture of a fried crust.  The shallow fried ones did not brown evenly either, and tasted almost too rich, delicate, and flaky (like pie-crust).

I think there may be a couple of issues:

1.  We may have handled the dough too delicately.  We incorporated the fat (cold, cold veg shortening), using the food processor, much more thoroughly than one would for pie-crust, but perhaps we should have used melted fat?  And perhaps we should have kneaded longer and tried to make a slightly drier dough?

2.  We should deep fry to prevent the dough from soaking up excess oil, and to ensure even browning.

We have lots of filling leftover and want to use it up.  Any advice would be much appreciated!

Perhaps if you used a chick pea or garbanzo flour and rice flour mix...somewhat like used in papadums instead of the wheat flour (if the recipe you used, used wheat flour)

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Samosas dough generally, in my experience has no baking soda in it.

Usually I use ghee in the dough, a fair amount, and I pour it in melted.

They should defiantly be deep fried. That doesn’t mean you can’t bake them, but it is not traditional. If you are going to bake them, I would make the dough more like western pastry dough, i.e. quite a lot of fat, and rubbed in, and not too much kneading.

If they are fried they don’t need as much fat in the dough and the dough needs to be kneaded like roti dough.

As far as the yoghourt goes, I have come across it used sometimes instead of water in the dough; it makes it a little tenderer and a little richer.

Edited by Yajna Patni (log)
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THere are however some really really knowlegable and talented egullet members in the area of Indian food. Suvir, Gautam, and Monica Bhide come to mind, but there are many others. Not sure how often any of them are around any more. But i think if you search the India forum archives for samosas, you should come up with expert discussions on the subject.

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  • 7 years later...

My version of tamarind chutney:

2t tamarind concentrate

½ chunk of gur (~3T)

1/2c water

1/8 t garam masala

1/8 t toasted ground cumin

1/16 t red pepper

 

If it is too thick thin it down a little with some more water; if too thin boil it down to what you prefer; but it will get you into the target area.

Edited by DocDougherty (log)
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My version of tamarind chutney:

2t tamarind concentrate

½ chunk of gur (~3T)

1/2c water

1/8 t garam masala

1/8 t toasted ground cumin

1/16 t red pepper

 

If it is too thick thin it down a little with some more water; if too thin boil it down to what you prefer; but it will get you into the target area.

DocDougherty - Can you tell me what 'gur' is?

 

maarla- I am very excited about this topic. I love to eat samosas, but have no idea how they are made.

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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My version of tamarind chutney:

2t tamarind concentrate

½ chunk of gur (~3T)

1/2c water

1/8 t garam masala

1/8 t toasted ground cumin

1/16 t red pepper

 

If it is too thick thin it down a little with some more water; if too thin boil it down to what you prefer; but it will get you into the target area.

 

Just curious - are you using sour tamarind or sweet tamarind?  What garam masala formulation do you use? (there are any number of them with the compositions varying even from household to household let alone regions of the Indian subcontinent)

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Hi, maarla!

 

Welcome to eGullet.

 

I've made samosa's from the "Joy of Cooking," 1997 edition. Their recipe calls for phyllo dough filled with spiced mashed potatoes, peas and cilantro. You roll them up like the little spanakopita appetizer triangles, which I usually make at the same time.They are baked in the oven, and are light, crispy and delicious.

 

I have frozen them individually before baking on a baking tray, then put in a zip lock bag. I love being able to take a few out whenever I want an appetizer and bake them up from frozen anytime.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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