I’ve been trying to eat more Indian food. Mostly, I’ve been trying to convince myself I like it, because so many other people love it and I should too. Also it really opens up another avenue of vegetarian cuisine.
If you notice, currently naan is the only Indian food on which I have written. Well, that’s because I haven’t been that successful in convincing myself I like Indian food. Currently the only repeat Indian dishes I make are naan and samosas (daal is one I want repeat but just haven’t yet).
Since I’ve told you about naan, let me introduce you to samosas. They are a baked or fried South Asian dumplings. (Yes, more dumplings.) These little half moons or triangle can be stuffed with a variety of things. This version is stuffed with spicy lentils, potatoes and peas. Traditionally they are served with a chutney, but I find a yogurt sauce complements them perfectly. They are hearty and filling. I served them at a Super Bowl party with great success. Also, like most dumplings they freeze very well, so they are perfect to make on the weekend then store the leftovers in the freezer for later in the month.
Samosasrecipe from Deb Perelman Dough: 1 teaspoon salt 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) cold butter, diced 2 tablespoons plain yogurt 1/2 cup ice water Lentils: 1/3 cup yellow or green split peas or red lentils ( I used red lentils)* 1 cup vegetable stock 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon curry powder Filling: 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, chopped 2 teaspoons minced or grated fresh ginger 3 teaspoons minced or grated garlic 2 hot green chile peppers, minced** 1 teaspoon of salt 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 1/8 teaspoon cayenne 1-2 (3/4lb) Yukon gold potatoes, 1/2 inch dice 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro*** 2 teaspoons lemon juice***
Prepare the dough by whisking together the flour and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Dice the butter and add the pieces to the flour. Blend the butter into the flour as you would for a pie dough. Add the yogurt and blend it in with your hands or a wooden spoon. Add in the water and mix it together with your hands or a wooden spoon. Once mostly together, pour the mixture onto a clean surface and knead it together a few times. Wrap it in plastic and place it in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
In a small pot, add the lentils, curry powder, salt and broth. Bring the mixture to a boil then cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until tender and turning to mush.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and potatoes. Cover the potatoes and allow to cook, stirring every few minutes for about 10 minutes. Add the onions and peppers to the potatoes and cook another4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook another minute. Add the salt, ground coriander, turmeric, cayenne, peas, and cilantro. Stir to combine and allow to simmer 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lentils and lemon juice to the mixture. Set the mixture aside and allow to cool slightly (enough to handle)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a clean, lightly floured work surface knead the dough briefly then break off small pieces about the size of a ping pong ball. On the floured surface roll each piece out into a 6-inch circle. Cut the circle in half, so you have two half moons. In the center of each half moon add about 2 teaspoons of filling. Then brush the edges with a little water. Fold the dough and press the edges together to seal it. Place it on a baking sheet and continue with the rest of the dough.
Place the baking sheet(s) in the oven and bake for 30 minutes (rotating halfway through if using multiple baking sheets). The samosas will be lightly browned when finished. Serve warm with a simple yogurt sauce (1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice, 1 tablespoon minced parsley, salt and pepper).
*The key to cooking lentils quickly (20 minutes) is to buy split lentils. The whole lentils take 40-45 minutes to become tender, as well as about 1/4 cup more broth. If you can’t find split lentils you can use regular, just double the cooking time and add more broth as needed.
**I used a can whole green chiles and finely diced them.
***I swapped the cilantro for parsley and omitted the lemon juice because I forgot to add it. They are still yummy.