SAMOSA: A VEGETARIAN DELIGHT FROM SOUTH ASIA
Almost instantaneously recognizable due to its unique triangular shape, Samosa is a snack that no one could resist. This triangular delight is popular not just in Nepal and India but all over the world. The vegetable samosa is a deep-fried pastry with a spiced filling usually made with potatoes, spices and herbs. Samosas make their appearance everywhere as street food, party snack, entrée or side dish.
Although Samosa is found almost everywhere in India and is a staple in every Indian restaurant, it is not indigenous to the country. It is said to have originated in the Middle East and travelled via Central Asia to India, and then trickled down to Nepal. Sanbosag, a precursor to the triangular treat we know today, was mentioned in ninth-century Persian literature. Likewise, recipes for Sanbusak, Sanbusaq, and Sanbusaj, all derived from the Persian word Sanbosag, may be found in 10th–13th-century Arab culinary books. It is also recorded in the 11th-century Persian literature as a snack served at the great courts of the Ghaznavid empire. The pastry would be loaded with nuts, dried fruits, and meats. Samosas were brought to the Indian subcontinent by traders from Central Asia in the 13th or 14th centuries.
And the samosa has been evolving ever since. As various cultures intermingled and the old and new world elements converged, new varieties were created. Samosa comes in a variety of consistencies, shapes and sizes. However, it is usually triangular in shape, which makes it very distinguishable from other snacks. Indian Samosas are a vegetarian’s delight and are served with chutney. Uttar Pradesh is claimed to be the origin place of the vegetable samosa.
Samosa carries a rich flavour profile and a rich history itself. Nonetheless, it is quite an easy snack to make. First, the savoury filling and the dough are prepared. To make the filling, some potatoes and green peas are steamed until they are well cooked. Then the potatoes are peeled and mashed in a bowl using a potato masher or a fork. Oil is heated in a pan, and cumin seeds and coriander seeds are added and crackled until fragrant. Next, minced or finely chopped ginger and green chillies are added. The mixture is fried for 1-2 minutes until the raw aroma of ginger has subsided. After that, cooked green peas, red chilli powder, garam masala, salt, fennel seeds powder and mango powder are mixed in. The mango powder imparts its signature tanginess to the samosa filling, which pairs perfectly with the savoury and spicy flavours of the other ingredients. It is then stirred and sauteed for another minute. Lastly, the mashed potato is added along with freshly chopped coriander leaves and mixed for a while.
For the samosa dough, all-purpose flour, salt, ghee and carom seeds are mixed in a large bowl. You can use any cooking oil if ghee is not available. Then the mixture is mixed and kneaded properly to form the samosa dough. The dough must not be overmixed as it will result in hard samosas. The prepared dough is then allowed to rest for 30-40 minutes before making the samosas. After that, a small piece of dough is rolled into a ball. The ball is then rolled with a rolling pin into a flat and even circle, which is then cut in half. Some water is applied on the straight edge of one of the half-circular pieces and brought together to form a cone. The opening of the cone should be wide enough to add the filling to it. Next, the samosa filling is stuffed into the cone, and the edges are pressed together to properly seal the Samosa. Then the stuffed samosas are deep-fried in oil and turned occasionally until they are perfectly crisp and golden brown. The delectable vegetable Samosa is then served hot with coriander chutney or tamarind chutney or with plain tomato ketchup.
So craving some delicious samosas? Just visit The Chowk and try scrumptious samosas served with equally lip-smacking sauce. If you are looking for authentic Nepali cuisine in Hobart, then be sure to stop by The Chowk.