The little wonder of India : Samosa

If you are a Samosa lover like me, you sure will read this and if you are not , you must read this to know what you are  missing.

The variety of Indian street food does not cease to amaze me. But this one takes the cake and is my personal all time favorite. Yummylicious Samosa !!! My American friends call this little wonder as “ Yummy Triangles”

This magical triangle is just about as famous in other countries  as it is in India. Yeah, with everything going global, why should Samosas be far behind, right ?

Too many fast food joints offering speciality food of different countries have cropped up in every nook and corner across India over the past few years. Nonetheless, our very own samosa is indisputably the most enduring of Indian snacks, especially in the Northern India. Its timeless. Its Ceaseless. Its ubiquitous. You find it on every roadside tea and coffee shops, small and big restaurants, college and office canteens, movie theaters etc.  It is in the lanes and by-lanes of cities and towns, village and highway tea-shops along the length and breadth of India.

Conventionally samosas in India have triangular or conical shapes. Delicious samosas are usually served with a chutney of some sorts (a thick sauce made from tamarind, mint and coriander chutney or Tomato Ketch Up). In some places they are even served with Chhola (curry of Chick Peas).

There are some variations in samosas across different states and regions in India. However, the difference is only in degree, not in kind. There is a slight variation in the filling while the main procedure remains the same. Miniature triangles are deep fried in enormous woks.

There are these over-sized North Indian samosas which primarily have a filling of mashed spicy potatoes, paneer, pomegranate and raisins. In Ahmedabad and some other cities in Gujarat, spicy mince filled samosas are commonplace. In Bihar, ginger seasoned potatoes and lots of green chilies are used for filling. The bengali Shingara is a light puff-pastry with fillings mainly of potatoes and cauliflower.

An average good quality Samosa can be bought at anything between Rs15-35, depending upon the place and popularity of the shop. Whatever be the price, Indians say its ” Paisa Wasool ” , which means ” Worth every penny” .

Origin : There have been findings that Samosa traveled to India via ancient trade routes from Central Asia. Small sized crisp triangles with mince filling were easy to make by the troops during night halts. Thereafter some were handily packed for the next day’s journey

Originating in Central Asia it is now found in all shapes and sizes all over the world.

The buddies and siblings of an Indian Samosa from all over the world are Mexican empanada, bierock in USA, British pasty, chausson in france, Italian stuffed pasta in whimsical shapes , Boreka and sambusa in most middle eastern countries.

They all in some or the other way belong to the “ Samosa Dynasty”

The original samosa from the Indian subcontinent is easily available in most Indian restaurants and stores all over the USA. Stores like Patel brothers and such do store the frozen variety as well, which makes your work more than half done. You just have to fry or bake the already filled and frozen triangles.

Since samosas are usually deep fried, goes without saying that they are loaded with calories . But I guess its ok to indulge once in a while. After all, its just one life.

Go grab yours, I say ! Here’s a quick recipe.

Ingredients :
1 cup white flour
1/8th cup oil
1/8th cup water
salt, to taste

4 Boiled mashed Potatoes
1/2 cup Green peas
1/4 cup coriander leaves
Some chopped cashews
Some raisins
1/4 tsp Pepper
Salt  to taste
1/4 tsp Red chili powder
1/2 tsp Dry Mango Powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
pinch asfotida
Oil for frying

Cooking Method
Mix flour, water, oil, some salt to make dough. It should not be very soft. Leave aside for 15 minutes.
Heat two spoons oil and add potatoes & peas. Cover on low flame for 5 minutes.
Add all the spices and mix well and again cover for 5-8 minutes.
Add cashews and raisins in the end and keep on flame for 3-5 minutes .
Keep aside to cool.
Make small rolls of the dough and make it like a flat chapati. Cut it in two parts (like semi-circle), then take one semi circle and fold it in a shape of cone . Stuff the potatoes-peas mixture in that cone and seal it by taking a drop of water on finger.
Heat oil properly and deep fry till golden brown.


Author: Richa Arora

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