savory apple samosas


I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year's celebration. Thank you for all the wishes and get well soon notes. I am feeling much better and it appears that my sore throat is a result of the humidifier which means cleaning it out more often. New Years was a fun and lively event, we celebrated with delicious Cuban food, dance and music, need I add that overeating was the theme of the night so much so that staying awake till the latter parts of the morning was difficult. What were some of your favorite and most unusual dishes at your New Year's dinner table? 


Sweet and spicy is the theme of this savory delight. These samosas are absolutely delicious but I am still unsure as to whether they would fit into an appetizer or dessert category, so they are filed under both categories. If you do have a suggestion on this please let me know. Almost every country has its own stuffed baked or fried pastry and samosas are probably the most famous of Indian pastries, if you have tried Indian food you must have tasted a vegetable or meat samosa at some point. Vegetarian varieties normally include a filling of potatoes or lentils and the non-vegetarian options include some type of ground meat. Samosas are very similar to the Sambusas of Ethiopian food and Spanish empanadas. The delicately delicious Greek Spanakopitas appear similar in shape and concept to the samosa but differ in the type of pastry used to create the flaky crust. Phyllo sheets are used to create the Greek stuffed pastries but the Indian samosa relies on temperature to create the flaky texture of the dough. 


This savory samosa recipe underwent a bit of trial and error. To get the crispy brown outer shell of these samosas but minimize the amount of oil required to fry them, I seared each side of the samosa in a little oil and then tossed them in the oven to complete the cooking process. from experience, the baked samosas either require too much oil to be incorporated into the pastry and the deep fried samosas are obviously too rich, this procedure eliminates the need for both and still keeps its healthy without compromising on taste and texture. For the accompanying sauce you could try out this Sweet Tamarind Chutney that is traditionally served with samosas.


savory apple samosas

yields: approximately 20 individual samosas

ingredients

for the pastry dough

1 1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons vegetable oil or shortening
10 tablespoons  water

for the filling

4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup golden raisins or sultanas
1/2 teaspoon black sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon corn flour
juice of half a lemon
4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1. Knead all the dough ingredients till it comes together in a large ball. You might need to add a little more water depending on the flour and humidity. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes. At this point the pastry can be stored for up to a day ahead and made the next day. 

For the filling
1. In a mixing bowl, toss together the apples, raisins, lemon juice, cornflour, sugar and the spices. Fold gently and refrigerate for about 20 minutes. This can also be prepared a day ahead and left covered with cling film and stored overnight in the refrigerator. 

Preparing the samosas
1. Preheat the oven to 350F and place a rack in the middle.
2. Spread some flour out on a clean and dry surface. Using the palms of your hands, roll out 1/2 inch balls. With a rolling pin, flatten the ball out into a thin circle and using a very little flour when you roll them out. The edges of the pastry do not need to be perfect because you will fold them over each other. With a flat knife create two semicircles from the large pastry circle. Take one pastry semicircle and make a cone by the folding the center of the semicircle along the length of the diameter. Seal the ends of the pastry with water. 
3. Fill the pastry cone with the apple filling and fold the open ends of the cone over each other and seal with water. 
4. Heat the oil in a pan on a medium flame. Sear each side of the samosa for about 1 minute and then transfer to a baking sheet pre-lined with parchment paper. 
5. Bake the samosas in an oven at 350F for about 30 minutes or till completely golden and crispy. 


Have a wonderful and great 2012!