Lockdown recipe: Time to make your own samosa

Samosa, a favourite tea time snack which also goes by the name Shingara in eastern India, is rather simple to make. They can be prepared with already available items in the kitchen, so you do not have to worry about heading out to buy ingredients – perfect for the current situaion when the entire country is following a lockdown to prevent getting infected from the deadly coronavirus. A special characteristic of this snack available in abundance across India at roadside tea stalls, sweetmeat shops, and restaurants, is that it not only pairs perfectly with chai, but also can be eaten alone, or with tomato ketchut, chutney or dips; sometimes, they are used in chaats as well.

Stuck at home, you may often have cravings for street foods, so why not learn to make some in your kitchen? It was my first attempt at making shingaras from scratch and I’m happy to say it turned out well. Follow this simple recipe step-by-step and you’ll have half a dozen hot crunchy snacks waiting to be hogged in an hour!

Ingredients (makes 6 medium samosas)

All-purpose flour/ Maida: 100 gm
Ajwain: 1tsp
Ghee: 1tbsp
Potatoes (boiled and peeled): 1 large
Peas: 2tbsp
Ginger (grated): 1tsp
Green chilli (chopped): 1 medium
Chopped coriander leaves (optional): 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds/jeera: 1 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1tsp
Coriander powder: 1tsp
Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
Chaat masala: 2 tsp
Cooking oil for deep frying
Salt to taste

Method

Start with the dough
Take the flour in a large bowl, add ajwain, salt (1tsp) and ghee. Mix them well. When you take a handful and press, it should form a slight tight shape.
Now add water to the dry mixture gradually, and prepare a tight dough. Set aside for 20 minutes.

Stuffing

Roughly crush the boiled potatoes, no need to chop them.
Heat oil in a pan/kadhai, and add the jeera.
Once the cumin seeds start to splutter add the peas, chopped green chilli, and stir well.
Then add the crushed potatoes, add some salt.
Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, grated ginger, and mix well. If required sprinkle some water, and cover with a lid.
After cooking for about 3-4 minutes, add the garam masala powder and the chaat masala. Add freshly chopped coriander leaves(optional). Mix the stuffing well. Set aside to cool.

Preparing the samosa

Evenly divide the dough into 3-4 parts and make balls to roll out like chapattis.
Use a little oil to smoothly roll out round chapattis with a rolling pin, then cut each in half, and keep aside.
Now take one semi-circle crust piece, shape it into a cone in your hand and line one half of the diameter with a little water and press it well onto the other half to seal it. The water will act as glue, sealing the crust sides, and help the samosa filling from coming out while frying.
Now add the cooled stuffing in the cone and seal the rest of the open crust by dabbing water onto it with your finger. Pinch around the sides and fold them to properly seal the samosa into a triangular shape.
Follow the same process with all the semi-circle crusts.
Now deep fry the samosas in a kadhai/wok for 4-5 minutes, until golden brown.
Serve hot with ketchup, coriander chutney or mint chutney.

Things to note

Adding more than usual ghee/oil while preparing the dough makes sure that the crust becomes crispy. Also, the dough should not be soft, or your samosa will be soggy instead of crunchy.
You can use more or fewer chillis – as per your taste.
You may choose to use other vegetables (cauliflower) along with potatoes. People often add paneer in the stuffing.
DO NOT put too much stuffing that you find it difficult to seal the ends.
DO NOT over-heat the oil before dropping in the samosa. Then the insides of the crust will not be cooked thoroughly, although the outside will appear to be cooked and golden brown.

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