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Pakistani Vegetable Samosas

Serves: Makes 16 servings

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon whole black mustard seeds
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 carrot, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 teaspoon pressed or minced garlic
  • ½ cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
  • ½ cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 3 medium white boiling potatoes (12 ounces), boiled, peeled, and cut into ¼-inch dice
  • ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1 package (1 pound) egg roll wrappers or lumpia wrappers
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Procedures:

"My wonderful Pakistani neighbor, Shelina, has shared many plates of her samosas, crisp savory stuffed pastries that are commonly served as an afternoon snack or at the beginning of the evening meal. I’ve sampled many different types of samosas on trips to India, typically filled with some combination of meat and/or spiced vegetables.
This recipe of Shelina’s uses a secret ingredient: the cross-cultural egg roll wrapper (or lumpia wraps, from the Philippines) in place of the traditional samosa dough. Look for the square wrappers at Asian markets or in the grocery refrigerator case. It takes some time and patience to fill and wrap the samosas, but you’ll find the time well spent when you see how much your friends love them.
The tamarind dipping sauce comes compliments of my friend Suvir Saran, the amazing Indian chef and owner of Devi in New York City. Suvir has also published two cookbooks that I use often to inspire me when I’m craving great Indian food. You could instead serve the samosas with tamarind chutney or other types of chutney, such as mango or mint.
  1. For the dipping sauce, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, ginger, fennel seeds, garam masala, and cayenne. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes, until aromatic and slightly toasty. Add the water, sugar, and tamarind concentrate. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat to medium and simmer, stirring often, for about 30 minutes, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Set aside until ready to serve.


  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and quickly cover with the lid. When the seeds stop popping after 1 to 2 minutes, add the bell pepper and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until aromatic but not too browned. Stir in the peas and corn and cook for 2 minutes longer, stirring frequently. Add the cumin, coriander, curry, salt, red pepper flakes, and garam masala, and stir for 1 minute, until well blended. Add the potatoes, cilantro, and mint. Cook, stirring gently to avoid mashing the potato cubes, for 2 to 3 minutes longer, until evenly blended. Set the samosa filling aside to cool.


  3. Stir together the flour and water in a small bowl; this will be used to seal the samosas.


  4. Cut each of the wrappers in thirds, making strips 6 to 8 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide (different brands of wrappers vary in size). Set one strip in front of you vertically and fold the bottom half upward and to the right at a 90-degree angle, then under and back to the left, forming a triangular pouch with two flaps. Holding the packet in the palm of your hand, spoon a scant tablespoon of the filling into the pouch. Use a finger to spread some of the flour paste on the flap ends and fold them securely around the filling to fully enclose it. Repeat with the remaining filling (you may not need all of the egg roll wrappers; you should have about 4 dozen samosas total).

by Sur La Table & Renée Behnke

 
 
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