Thursday, January 3, 2013

beef and potato samosas

on a trip to india
i was slightly obsessed with street food
i had convinced myself
i would find authenticity and flavor
only imagined

what i hadn't considered
how difficult it would be
to convince others
to stop the car
dig in 

one afternoon
while sitting in the hotel bar
overlooking the taj mahal
i inquired if the kitchen could fix us a few snacks
typical of what locals might eat
they couldn't accommodate
we took the meal 
in our room

you see
my request of samosa, pakora and the like
wasn't upmarket enough for the hotel
if we ate it in secret
they would fix it
lounging on our hotel room balcony
watching the sun set over the taj
while sipping cocktails
is a treat

doing it while
enjoying a loaded platter of savory treats
spicy chutneys
is an experience i won't soon forget
beef and potato samosas
(while the samosas served did not contain beef, i find it a great addition)
1 lb ground beef (max 15% fat)
1 1/2 cup russet or yukon gold potatoes--peeled and cubed
3 Tbs vegetable oil
1 cup onion--finely chopped
1 tsp garlic--finely minced
1 tsp ginger--peeled and finely minced
1 tsp thai bird chili--finely minced
juice of half a lime
2 Tbs fresh cilantro--finely chopped
square wonton wrappers (small for appetizer size)*
oil for frying
1 Tbs whole coriander seed--toasted and ground
1 tsp whole cumin seed--toasted and ground
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
small pinch cinnamon
1 tsp kosher salt

Boil potatoes in salted water. Mash and set aside. Saute onion in vegetable oil until golden.  Add ginger, garlic, and chili.  Stir for about 3 minutes.  Add Masala and continue to stir.  Add ground beef and continue to cook until no longer pink. Let cool. Stir in lime juice, cilantro and mashed potato.
Make a cone with the wonton wrapper, sealing sides with water.  Again using water to seal, close the cone and set on a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper and dusted with cornstarch.  You may refrigerate for several hours at this point, or freeze for future use.
Heat oil in  heavy bottom pot to 350F.  Drop samosas in a few at a time, careful not to crowd the pan.  Cook until nicely browned.  Serve warm or room temperature with raita and a variety of chutney.

*you may make your own samosa wrappers, as i do on occasion when i want larger portions...but i find the wontons, while not authentic, perfectly delicious and very convenient.

Samosa Wrappers
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/3-1 cup water
sift flour, add salt.  add water a little at a time and mix until you have a soft, but not sticky dough.  cover and let sit for about 30 minutes.  divide dough into 6 portions.  flatten each portion into a disk.  roll each disk to a 6" circle.  cover and let rest about 15 minutes.  roll each circle further into a 12" circle.  heat a griddle and toast each circle slightly (but do not fully dry out).  cut each circle into quarters.  fashion each quarter into a cone and fill.  use water or egg wash to seal the edges and close the wrapper over the filling.  fry in 350F oil until golden brown.


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