My samosa challenge

This month I made from-scratch samosas. Since I was also attempting lamb vindaloo for Father's Day, I decided the samosas would be the side dish.

This is the first recipe I've tried from my new book, Asian Dumplings: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More by Andrea Nguyen.

(Thanks mom!)

Making these samosas actually involved 3 recipes--one for the pastry, one for the filling, and one for the tamarind-date dipping sauce. I made both the pastry and filling earlier in the day. The pastry is an easy combo of butter (supposed to be shortening, but I don't have any), flour, baking powder and water. The filling is vegetarian--cooked potato, peas, onion, ginger & dried spices (including cayenne & garam masala).

Potato filling in red bowl, pastry "log" in foreground

Wrapping the samosas was easy once I got started. You divide the dough into six chunks and roll each into a circle. Then, cut each circle in half.

Working with the straight edge, you twist one half of it around and seal it to the other half of the straight edge, creating a shallow cone.

Hold the cone in your hand with seam facing, and jam in 2 spoonfuls of filling.

Then fold the top of the cone to the near edge and seal.

I have misplaced my candy thermometer, so I just guessed when the oil was hot enough.

Tamarind date sauce is a nice sweet-sour dip for these. It has a little cumin and brown sugar in it, too.

Sauce is the dark blob to the right.

These samosas were OK. I think I could have added more spices (the recipe does say to taste the filling and adjust spices as needed--I left it mild). It makes 12 samosas and we only ate 2 each. I am tempted to say that it's a lot easier (and tastier) to just buy samosas--we can get them at the Saturday farmer's market or any day at the India Palace restaurant. However, if one is trying to be frugal, making your own seems cheaper and pretty satisfying. Here's my breakdown (note: I tend to overguesstimate).

2 potatoes $3
1/4 cup peas .50
spices .50
flour, butter 1.00
cooking oil 1.75

total for 12 samosas: 6.75, or about .56 each.

These were fun to try but I doubt I will make them again any time soon. For one thing there are so many other dumpling recipes in this book, I want to keep working my way through!

Other challenges this year:
January: Banh Mi
February: Kouign Amann
March: Croque Monsieur
April: Sourdough bread
May: Chop

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