Recently we discovered that the production/ agriculture of wheat (the flour which we’d usually use for this delicious delicious pastry) actually has a huge impact on the environment because of the amount of fertilisers and pesticides used (Runaway nitrogen is suffocating wildlife in lakes and estuaries, contaminating groundwater and even warming the globe’s climate). So I’ve decided to see just how easy it is to experiment with other types of flours- similar to meat free mondays, I’m experimenting on a small scale to test the waters and see whats possible.
This recipe is easily halved, in fact I’d recommend it as this amount could feed a small army. This recipe made around 40-50. If you have leftovers its better not to assemble the samosas and cook them as you intend to serve them due to the fact the pastry will eventually soften if left in the fridge once cooked.
The pastry part of this recipe wasn’t easy, I won’t lie, its fiddly, but it was definitely worth it in the end!
For the Pastry you will need:
- A large mug or something circular to use to cut and measure the pastry (a cookie cutter/ egg ring would work best). My mug was 10cm in diameter.
- 6 cups of gram flour/ chick pea flour
- 1 cup of unmelted vegetable shortening (I used Trex)
- 4 tsp of salt
- 4 tbsp caraway/ ajwain seeds
Combine all of the ingredients with either your hands (like you would any shortcrust pastry recipe) by squeezing the shortening and dry ingredients together until they create a large mixed ball. Alternatively you could use a food processor with a pastry attachment.
Once the ingredients are thoroughly mixed divide into smaller balls and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Dividing them will help them to cool quickly/ harden so they’re easier to work with.
For the Filling you will need:
- 2 small gords/ pumpkins or butternut squash chopped into .7 inch/ 1-2cm cubes
- 4 brown onions (finely diced)
- 4 small green chillies (finely chopped)
- 2 large cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 one inch/ 2.5 cm square piece of ginger (minced)
- 8 tbsp fresh chopped coriander (added after the mixture is cooked)
- 3 tbsp cumin
- 2 tbsp garam masala
- 20 curry leaves (chopped)
- 2 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 4-6 tbsp rapeseed/ coconut oil to coat the mixture lightly
Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees.
Combine all the filling ingredients in a very large bowl in no particular order but leaving the oil until last (and leaving the coriander until after the pumpkin is cooked) so it can thoroughly coat the mixture.
Put to mixture onto a large baking tray until all the pumpkin is cooked through, this should take around 30 minutes but may require regular turning to assure it all cooks evenly.
Once cooked add the fresh coriander and leave out of the oven to cool for at least 30 minutes. If the mixture is too warm it will make the pastry harder to work with- I found it easier to chill in the fridge overnight.
For the yogurt sauce/ ryita:
- 2 cups of plain unflavoured yogurt (greek yogurt is best)/ vegan yogurt
- 1/4 finely diced or grated cucumber
- 1 small garlic clove (minced)
- optional: 6-8 leaves of mint finely chopped
Combine all the ingredients and stir through, voila, the dipping sauce is done, easy, put into the fridge until you need it.
Now we get to the tricky part, the samosa assembly. Its probably easiest if I show you in pictures as well. If you happen to have a marble rolling pin put it in the freezer first to chill it; I wasn’t that lucky but fear not, a normal rolling pin or even a wine bottle will work also.
I’d suggest making a ‘test’ samosa so you can tell how thin you want the pastry and how much filling you’d like in it.
Firstly only take as much pastry as you need to make one samosa from the fridge, leaving the rest to stay cool and hard. Place it on a piece of baking paper and cover with cling film so it doesn’t stick to whatever you’re rolling it with.
Roll the pastry into as much of a circle as possible so its around 1/3rd of a centimeter (0.1 inches) thick, the thinner the better as the pastry will go hard and dry but experiment to see how comfortable you are.
Remove the cling film and place your cup/ mug/ cookie cutter/ egg ring over the top of the pastry and push down, sweep any side bits away to use later.
Depending on the size of your circle add between 1 tsp and 1 tbsp of filling onto only one side of the circle.
Use the baking paper to fold the pastry in half, squeezing the edges together to seal it.
Place onto a lined baking tray and bake for around 8 minutes in a pre heated oven.
Serve with your yogurt dipping sauce.