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Brief History (Click here to original reference)
The samosa is claimed to have originated in the Middle East (where it is known as sambosa prior to the 10th century. Abolfazl Beyhaqi (995-1077), an Iranian historian, mentioned it in his history, Tarikh-e Beyhaghi.
I was born in Shillong, Meghalaya that became a state of India in 1972 and grew up over states in India due my fathers' duty as a Colonel rank in Gurkhas Army. I grew up surrounding by amour of exotic India foods. Indian food is always sooooooooo good & we every day ate Indian foods at home! Garlic naan, and cucumber raita, are my favourite which is a delicious yogurt dip that helps break down the spiciness of some curies. But before getting to that, I always order a samosa as an appetizer. Samosas can be fried or baked. The most famous type is filled with spiced potato but it can also have onions, peas, lentil, ground lamb, beef or chicken.
So How did it get to India?
It is thought to have originated in the middle east before the 10th century. It’s amazing how culture mix is revealed in food. Today deviants of samosa are considered a popular dish in a lot of countries:
- Southeast, Central and Southwest Asia
- North and South Africa
- * Even some European countries such as Portugal, which has colonized Goa, India, has now samosa part of their diet.
I’ve noticed that there is one spice that I always taste in Indian food: cardamom
Cardamom is used for fragrance in rice, dishes and also for medicinal purposes. Cardamom grows wild in the monsoon area of southern India and just that area was able to provide the world’s trade 200 years ago. Today a lot of it is cultivated. It has been treated for at least 1000 years. If you are interested in medicinal uses for cardamom, visit this page.
Preparation and Cook Time
- Prep time: 20 min
- Serves: 15
- Cook time: 25 min
- 2 cups Maida Flour
- 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup Water + a few tablespoons extra
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 green chile peppers, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 3/4 pound ground beef
- 1 teaspoon salt
- A few Cardamoms
- A bit of Habanero Pepper
- 1 Potato
- 1 Chick peas
Samosa Dough Instructions
- To start making the samosa dough or pastry, mix together flour and salt and add oil. Rub the oil with the flour till it resembles bread crumbs. Start by adding 1/2 cup water and knead it into a firm dough. You may need a few extra teaspoons of water but add as you go. The consistency of the dough should be firm and smooth. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and set aside while you make the filling.
- Heat oil in a pan. While the oil is heating, crush the coriander seeds, saunf (fennel seeds) and methi (fenugreek seeds) roughly and add it to the pan. Fry the spices till aromatic but be careful not to burn them. Add ginger, garlic and green chillies and stir fry for a minute or two. Add the remaining spices, mashed boiled potatoes and salt. I like to use a potato masher to just mash everything together and then mix it. Add the curry leaves right at the end, give it one more good mix and then set the mixture aside to cool.
Wrapping the samosas:
- Take a lime sized bowl of dough, roll it between your palms till smooth and dust it with flour.
- Roll it out into a circle which is less than 1 mm thickness and about 6 inches in diameter.
- Cut the rolled dough in half. Pick up one half and brush it with a little water along the straight edge of the pastry.
- Now take one edge of the straight side, and place it on the other edge of the straight side in such a way that the dough forms into a cone (watch the video for more clarity). Pinch the corner of the cone so that its sealed. Place a tablespoon and a half of the filling in the cone, making sure to fill it only 3/4th of the way. Brush the inside of the unfilled dough with a little water and seal it by pinching the edge together. Repeat till all the dough is used up. Place the samosas on a greased tray making sure they don’t touch each either and cover them with a damp cloth.
Frying the samosas:
- Heat about 2-3 inches oil in a pan. To test if the oil is hot enough, add a tiny piece of dough to the oil and if it bubbles and floats on the surface, your oil is ready for frying. Add the samosas to the oil making sure not to overcrowd the pan, and reduce the flame to a simmer. Fry the samosas on a low flame till golden brown on either side. Its important to fry them on a low flame, or the pastry would be raw from the inside and golden brown on the outside. Take them out on a plate lined with paper to absorb any extra oil and serve them immediately with ketchup, coriander chutney or tamarind chutney.