Project Food Blog Entry #2 - Holy Samosa!

Wow, thank you for voting me through the next round of Project Food Blog!  There are so many talented bloggers out there and I am truly appreciative of the opportunity to advance.

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

Potato Filling
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.
While the dough rests, work on the filling.  First put the diced potatoes in a pot and cover with cold salted water.  Bring it all to a boil until it cooks through.  Drain, then set aside.  Heat a saute pan, then heat oil until almost smoking.  Saute the mustard, cumin seeds and jalapeno for about 10 seconds.  Combine the tumeric and cook for a few more seconds.  Then put the onions in and cook until soft.  Next add the potatoes, saute for a few minutes.  Then add the garam masala and peas.  Season with salt then take it off the heat.  Add cilantro at the end.  Let the mixture cool and set aside to fill the samosas.

Tamarind Chutney (yield 1 1/2 cup)
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!


  1. Love samosas and all Indian food. I've made a lot of Indian recipes but never samosas - so you have inspired me. The photos entice. And the story behind it is so personal and from the heart. Congrats on progressing and hope you continue on!

  2. You know I have so many good memories of Indian Food. I almost named my child after my favorite NY Indian Restaurant, Sonali, lol

    We have a thriving Indian population here in Atlanta and now my child is an Indian food affectionado - we try to go at least once a month.

  3. Samosas are a party in my mouth! Yours look absolutely delectable! Good luck in round 2!!!

  4. i'm not a huge fan of Indian food but whenever i do go to an Indian restaurant, i will never miss on a samosa. really a good choice for #pfb2010 round 2 entry! as always, you will get my vote. congrats for making it to round 2 and here's hoping we both reach the third! :)

  5. You had me at toasting your own spices. :) Got my vote! Good work.

    - Amy
    Vote now!

  6. I've made samosas once and they are so much fun, aren't they?! These look incredible! The best of luck, Margaret! I will be voting for you to advance :)

  7. I made samosas for the competitionpid too! I love seeing how our recipes differ! You are a wonderful writer and chef-you can count on my vote :)

  8. Thanks everyone for your comment! I love hearing from you and thanks for the good wishes on the competition!

  9. you got my vote and my tweet....good luck

  10. Now I am wanting samosas!! Beautiful job, You've got a vote from me!!

  11. Yum! The samosas look great! I've never tried making these at home...I need to.
    Good luck on round 2!

  12. Those look so good, my mouth was watering reading your post!
    Good luck in round 2 - I voted for you (again)!

  13. Mmmm Samosas. I have great respect for those that can roll dough into a circle. And shape samosas. I roll mine into flautas cause I suck at it.

  14. I heart samosas. We generally make meat-filled ones because the hubster is not a fan of veggie ones but your potato look absolutely delicious! Props to your folding skills :) You've got my vote!

  15. Your samosa look absolutely delicious! I liked hearing about your memory. Good luck in this round!

  16. Great job! I like Indian food, but have not challenged myself to make any.I should try this.

  17. Holy Samosa! This is a great cultural entry, I really love samosas. Thanks for voting for me, so I'm returning the kind favor! Good luck.

  18. What a beautiful dish! I love samosas, but I've never tried my hand at making my own. These look so tasty, and I'm tempted to make them over the weekend. Thank you for your kind words on my blog...I will certainly cast a vote in your favor!

  19. Your samosas look insanely delicious! One of my all-time favorites. Good luck in this round!


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