He looks at me, shakes his head, and I knew an argument was going to be up next.
Alok: You froze samosa? Tch tch. (smiling as if he discovered something I was hiding) You know I don't like it!
Me: Everyone does it okay. I don't want to make small batches of something repeatedly anymore. It's good to have some things ready when you want it.
Alok: Why don't you freeze tea also? Freeze everything, so it will all be ready whenever you want it. I must see what else is there in the freezer. (taking out each packet to see and to playfully tease me)
Me: Freezing properly does not spoil the food. What do you think restaurants do? They freeze at the initial stage and cook on order that's why you get hot food that looks as good as fresh. (still hoping to change his mind!)
Alok: Okay, can I order Shahi Paneer, Kofta, and Naan from you right now? Can you give it to me? Now you see, this is not a restaurant, this is my house! (smiling because he *thinks* he won the argument)
The never-ending debate. Sigh! :-) But yes, I made samosa again yesterday. Making it a little too frequently these days. And I can't help it - a batch of 16 samosas is finishing up within two days! But this time, I made the big and plump regular-sized samosa instead of the bite-sized cocktail samosa or bag-shaped potli samosa. And froze some of them.
I was looking back at all the times I have made samosa in the past years. I have tried samosa dough with only all-purpose flour, with and without semolina flour, with and without baking soda, with measurements and without any proportions, and these days with part whole wheat flour. I have tried samosa filling with and without mashing, with and without certain ingredients, frying on low heat and high heat. Everything works.
Just few things to remember:
a) baking soda is NOT a mandatory ingredient, skip it if you see any recipe suggesting baking soda to add in samosa dough.
b) samosa or even kachori made with whole wheat flour will be flaky, crisp, and best the same day it is fried; will turn soft the next day.
c) you surely can fry samosa on medium or high heat, but then you must serve or eat it soon as the crispiness will not last long if fried on high heat; it will also create bubbles or blisters on samosa - not a bad thing, just a personal preference...some find it homely, some don't.
This is a tip by Rahul Arora: To prevent bubbles or blisters on the samosa, add a few drops of lemon juice to the dough.
For Samosa Dough
Makes 12 large samosa
½ cup whole wheat flour (aata)
½ cup all-purpose flour (maida)
2 Tbsp semolina flour (sooji)
⅛ tsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp water to knead
Mix dry ingredients (flours + salt) together. Optional flavors to add to your dough: carom seeds (ajwain), black pepper (kali mirch) powder, etc.
Mix and rub oil until it clumps when you press the flours in your fist.
Add the water, gently bring everything together to form a dough. You need not knead it too much, too long.
That is really the exact amount of water I needed for my samosa dough, but I suggest you pour ¼ cup first, then add more to make a soft, smooth, and semi-firm dough.
The kachori dough is supposed to be firm, but the samosa dough is best when it is a little soft.
Keep the dough covered for 20 minutes, or cling wrap it and refrigerate if you want to make samosa in a day or two. Remove the dough from refrigerator 30 minutes before you are ready to make samosa.
For Samosa Stuffing
Makes enough for 12 large samosa
½ Tbsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
⅛ tsp (a pinch) asafetida
½ Tbsp curry leaves, cut with scissor
2 Tbsp cashew nuts, chopped
1 Tbsp raisins, cut in two
½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
1 tsp grated ginger (or ginger paste)
½ Tbsp finely chopped green chilies (or green chili paste)
2 cup parboiled potato, packed (about 4 large potatoes)
½ cup boiled green peas
1 tsp salt
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Heat oil in a medium pan on medium heat. Add mustard seeds, let pop, add cumin seeds, let sizzle, add asafetida + curry leaves + cashew nuts + raisin + crushed coriander seeds + fennel seeds + ginger + green chilies while stirring all along until cashew nuts turn light brown.
Add potatoes + green peas + salt, mix well. At the end, add cilantro + lemon juice, mix well, switch off heat, cover the pan and let the flavors infuse well and allow the mixture to cool down on its own.
Bring the dough and stuffing together to form the samosa
Make a cornstarch paste with ½ tsp cornstarch + 1 Tbsp water. If you don’t have cornstarch, use all-purpose flour instead. This paste is meant for binding the dough.
Divide the dough into 6 balls. Divide the stuffing into 12 equal portions. Roll out each dough ball into 6 inch diameter. Dabbing a little oil on the dough can help you roll it out better. Cut into half to create two semi-circles. Form each semi-circle into a cone, using cornstarch paste for binding the edges. Fill the stuffing till ¾ of the cone, apply cornstarch paste to the open wide edge of the cone and press it. Click here to read the details on how to make samosa cone and how to add filling in samosa. In the end, instead of making flat cocktail samosa, place samosa vertically and the last edge that you pressed to seal – press that to make the samosa stand.
Continue making samosa, keeping them covered under a cloth. Heat oil on medium, when the oil is hot (test by dropping a tiny piece of dough to see if it sizzles), turn heat to low and fry a few samosas at a time. Drain on a paper towel.
Ways you can serve samosa:
1. Serve hot with mint-cilantro chutney, tamarind chutney, or ketchup.
2. Make Samosa Chaat: press and break the samosa, pour chhole over it, drizzle some tamarind chutney, some green chutney, sprinkle some finely chopped onion and chopped cilantro, top it with a generous amount of fine sev.
3. Toast the samosa in a toaster oven to warm it up and serve with hot Indian tea - samosa and chai is a great combination.
If you have any remaining dough, form different shapes out of it and fry along with your last batch. If you have any remaining stuffing, use it to make stuffed paratha or spread over bread and toast it.
Enjoy.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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