To make potato samoosas as a main dish for four spicy diners, you will need:
- 6 medium potatoes
- 25mm fresh root ginger
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 medium onions
- 1 bunch fresh coriander leaves
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 1 level teaspoon of coriander seeds
- 1 level teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 1 big red chilli (say 75mm long)
- 50mm cinnamon3 cloves
- ½ level teaspoon of ground turmeric
- 3 tablespoons of canola or sunflower oil
- Samoosa pastry
1 Bring a clean, dry frying pan up to medium heat on the hob. Pour in the cumin and coriander seeds. Shake the pan as they begin to darken to ensure they toast all over.
This should take 90 seconds at the most. Pour them out onto a room-temperature plate to cool. When cool, break the cinnamon into coarse fragments by hand, then grind the cinnamon, cloves, toasted cumin and toasted coriander seeds to dust in an electric grinder.
2 Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes, then parboil them in lightly salted water until
half done. Remove and reserve for later in the proceedings. Depip the big red chilli and discard the seeds. Finely chop the chilli, ginger and garlic. Thinly slice the onion. Blanch the tomato to assist the removal of the skin, then coarsely chop the remainder.
3 Select a large, heavy-based frying pan. Pour in two or three tablespoons of canola or
sunflower oil and bring this up to medium heat. Add the prepared chilli, ginger and
garlic, plus the thinly sliced onion. Let these fry under close supervision, stirring from time
to time to prevent adhesions and subsequent burning. When the onions have become soft and translucent, add the contents of the grinder plus the half teaspoon of pre-ground turmeric. Stir these fragrant spices into the mix. Add the coarsely chopped peeled tomato to the pan and, while stirring, allow some of the juice to boil off.
4 Add the parboiled cubed potatoes that you reserved earlier on to the mix and stir
gently to avoid breaking up the potatoes. Make sure the spiced onion, garlic and ginger
mixture coats the surfaces of the potatoes. Add half a cup of water and let the aloo simmer
until done, adding small amounts of water if necessary as the simmering proceeds.
5 When the potatoes have cooked and most of the moisture has evaporated let
the filling cool before you start folding your samoosas.
6 To make the samoosas, cover the samoosa pastry (you can buy this from most supermarkets) with a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out.
7 Holding a strip of pastry in your left hand, pull the bottom corners across and fold it up to form a triangle with sharp corners and a pocket in which to put the filling.
8 Fill with about 10ml filling, then continue folding the pastry across the top of the triangle to seal off theopening. Tuck the edges round to form a triangle and close the samoosa tightly, ensuring that there are no gaps at the corners of the triangle.
9 Seal the remaining edge tightly with dipping water with your finger and rub on
the pastry. You should now have a complete triangle. Fry the samoosas in hot oil for 10 minutes or until golden brown, turning them often.
10 When ready to serve, garnish with three or four dhania leaves per serving, plus a side dish of raita swiftly made from thinly sliced cucumber in plain yoghurt.
Styling: Nomvuselelo Mncube
David Basckin is a freelance journalist and videographer.