So with not much time to celebrate, it is back to business and moving on to the next challenge. The second challenge requires us to make a classic dish from another culture. We were asked to pick an ethnic or foreign classic that is outside our comfort zone or not as familiar with. I started thinking which ethnic food I love to eat but never tried making it at home. Well that's easy...Indian food! The reason why I never make it at home is because my husband isn't particularly fond of Indian cuisine, maybe because some dishes are simply too spicy for him. I used to have a friend who also loves Indian food and we often dine at Indian restaurants until she moved to Atlanta. Now I don't eat Indian food that often and miss it terribly.
I also want to make Indian food because one of my first food memories was Indian food. I was about 4 or 5 years old and living in Hong Kong. There were and still are populated by many Indians. Many of them arrived there with the British during its colonial rule and became permanent residents. I recall my dad often took us to an Indian social club on weekends. Since I was quite young, the only thing I remember is playing in the playground and snacking on samosas. So in memory of the childhood samosa, I decided to make the classic Indian potato samosa with tamarind chutney. Tamarind is a fruit popular in South Asian countries. It has a sweet and sour taste. This fruit is commonly used in Indian cuisine. To really challenge myself, I decided to make everything from scratch, but if you want to save time you could use store-bought pastry dough. For the filling, I also made my own garam masala, a popular spice blend use in Indian cooking, but you could find the already made blend in your local Asian or Indian market. The same goes to the tamarind chutney. However if you really want to immerse yourself and learn about the spices of India, you should try the recipes below. I found all the spices mentioned in these recipes at my local Asian market so you should too.
Indian Potato Samosas
Pastry Dough (yield approx. 30 pieces)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tspn of salt
1/4 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn of cumin seeds (lightly crushed)
4 tbsp of butter
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1/4 cup of canola oil
1 1/2 tspn of brown mustard seeds
1 tspn cumin seeds
2 jalapeno peppers (fine dice)
1/4 tspn tumeric
Half of a small yellow onion (small dice)
1 1/2 lb of Idaho potatoes (peeled and small dice)
1 tspn of garam masala (recipe follow)
2 tspn of salt
1/4 cup of peas
3 tbsp of cliantro (minced)
Garam Masala (yield 1/4 cup)
1 1/2 tbsp of cumin seed
1 1/2 tbsp of coriander seed
1 tbsp of black peppercorn
1 1/2 tspn of ground cardamom
1/2 pieces of cinnamon stick (crushed)
1 1/2 tspn of fennel seed
1 tspn of ground nutmeg
2 pieces of whole cloves
First work on the dough, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, cumin seed and butter in a food processor. Then slowly add the buttermilk into the food processor while pulsing until the dough comes together. Take the dough out, gently press the dough together and wrap in plastic. Put dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Now start working on the garam masala.
Toast all seeds and cinnamon separately until fragrant. Let it cool then grind all the toasted and ground spices together. Since we only need a teaspoon of the spice blend for the filling, you could store the rest for future use. This spice blend is great for curry as well as tomato and onion based dishes.
2 tbsp of Indian tamarind paste
1 cup of hot water
1 tbsp of canola oil
1/2 cup of golden raisins
1 tbsp of grated ginger
3/4 tspn of ground cumin
3/4 tspn of ground cinnamon
1/4 tspn of fennel seed
1/8 tspn of ground cardamom
Maple syrup to taste
Mix the tamarind paste and hot water together to dissolve. Heat the oil in a small saute pan, then saute the raisins and ginger until raisins begin to brown. Add the spices and cook until fragrant. Add the tamarind liquid, bring to a boil and remove from heat to cool. Blend the mixture until smooth. This is a sweet and sour sauce, if it's too sour add some maple syrup to adjust flavor.
After all the prep work is done, take the dough out of the fridge and begin to roll out the dough. First flour the board and rolling pin. Divide the dough into equal pieces. Roll each piece into a log and cut each log into 7 to 8 pieces. Cover the cut pieces to prevent from drying out. Roll each piece into a 7" circle. Cut out the rolled pieces with a 6" round cutter. Cut the circles in half to make two semi-circles. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to moisten half of the straight edge of one semi-circle. Fold the other half over to form a cone. Fold the closed edge over 1/4" to seal the seam. Fill the cone with the potato filling, then moisten the one side of the top edge with water, then press to seal. Place the samosas on a parchment covered sheet pan and keep them covered with plastic or a damp cloth so they don't dry out. Heat the canola oil to 375 degrees and fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and serve immediately with the tamarind chutney.
The dough is flaky and the filling is full of the flavor-enhancing spices. There is a little spiciness to the filling but the tamarind chutney's sweet and sourness really compliment the flavorful filling. I hope you enjoyed this entry and continue to vote for me!