A couple of weeks ago, we went out for Indian food at one of our favorite restaurants
, in D.C. I'm trying to tick things off my bucket list, some new places to try and some old spots that I know I will miss a lot, this is definitely on my list. Their menu is always delicious and every item on it bursting with flavors, we ended up trying several different dishes and by the end of the meal we struggled to with our desserts (honestly, we could have skipped it but they sounded and were incredible). Strangely enough, we never ordered any samosas which then led me to remedy the situation with these guys!
I did something very different this time, I infused the pastry dough with fresh rosemary (though dried will work as well here) and also used coconut oil to create the dough's flakiness. The filling for this breakfast-themed pastry includes a mix of sweet potatoes, leeks, spinach, boiled eggs and a little more rosemary that spiced to create a delicious flavorful mix.
There are step-by-step photographs that M took while I prepared the pastries to cook which hopefully make things easier. This is also the way, I prefer to cook my samosas, I don't like to deep fry but simply baking them takes away from the texture of the pastry. So, I do a two-step cooking process where I lightly pan-sear the samosas on each side in a little oil and then bake them till they are cooked.
You can do what I do, prepare these for brunch and/or save the rest and reheat them in the mornings.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, fresh or dried
1 cup leek, chopped
2 cups sweet potatoes, diced
4 cups packed spinach leaves, fresh
2 thai green/red chili peppers, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt
2 large hardboiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium-high for about 30-40 seconds. As soon as the oil gets hot, add the rosemary and stir for 10 seconds. Stir in the leeks and sauté for 2 minutes.
2. Add the sweet potatoes and coat them with the oil. Cook for another 5 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are just tender. Add the spinach leaves along with the chili and salt, stir and continue to cook until the sweet potatoes are completely cooked. This will take about 4-5 minutes. If the spinach releases a large amount of water, continue to cook until the liquid evaporates. Fold in the eggs and the garam masala. Remove from stove and keep the filling aside, until ready to use.
1 cup (5 ounces) durum / whole-wheat flour
1 cup (4 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour + a little more flour for rolling out the pastry
2 tablespoons rosemary, fresh/dried
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons melted coconut oil
6-7 tablespoons chilled water*** (you might need more)
1. Add all the ingredients from the flour to the salt in a food processor. Pulse a 2-3 times for 5 second intervals to evenly mix all the ingredients.
2. Add the coconut oil to the dry ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Sprinkle the 6 tablespoons of water over the flour and pulse the ingredients until they combine to form a ball dough. You may need to add more water to bring the ingredients together. Once the dough is formed, remove from the processor and wrap with cling film. Allow to rest for at least 60 minutes until ready to use.
a cup of water for sealing the pastry
See the step-by-step photographs photographs above (from top left to right and then bottom left to right).
1. Dust a clean pastry board or smooth kitchen surface with a little flour. Unwrap the dough and divide the dough into 14 equal parts. Mold each part into a ball, cover the balls with a damp cloth to prevent them from drying out while you are preparing the pastries.
2. Take one ball of dough and roll it out into a 5-6 inch circle, dusting with a little flour to prevent sticking. The edges of the circle do not need to be perfect as you will fold them over.
3. Divide the circle into two semicircles with a sharp knife or pastry cutter. Take one semicircle of the pastry in your hand, using your fingers bring the straight ends of the semicircle together and brush the straight edges with a little water and gently press to seal to form a cone.
4. Fill the cone with a generous tablespoon of the sweet potato filling prepared earlier.
5. Brush the open ends of the cone with water and then press gently to seal the mouth. Brush this sealed edge with a little water and then fold this edge once over itself to form a tight seal.
6. Prepare the rest of the samosas similarly and keep aside covered with a damp cloth until ready to cook.
cooking the samosas
1/4 cup olive oil for pan searing (you may need a little more or less)
1. Center a wire rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium sized non-stick pan, heat two tablespoons of the oil on medium high. As soon as the oil is hot add 3 samosas and lightly cook them on each side until they are lightly seared and become lightly golden brown. You may need to add a little more oil for searing the other side.
Transfer the samosas to the prepared baking sheets. Bake 7 samosas at a time for about 20 minutes or until they are completely golden brown. Repeat this for the rest of the samosas.
3. Serve hot with ketchup or sweet tamarind chutney. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can reheat the samosas in a microwave or toaster oven before eating.
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon sambal olek
1 large egg, beaten
2. Microwave the peas for 3 minutes on the high setting. They should get soft enough to be easily mashed. When ready mash the peas with a fork.
5. Spoon out about 3 heaped tablespoons of the mixture inside a 2 inch circular cookie cutter directly on to the hot pan. Quickly shape it to conform to the cookie cutter. Pan fry the cakes on each side till seared. This should take about 4 minutes on each side. Drain any excess oil from the cakes on to a clean paper towel. Serve hot.
2 large sweet potatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon curry powder ( I used Jamaican Curry)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into 1/2 inch thick strips along the length of the potatoes. In a large bowl, toss and coat the sweet potatoes and the rest of the ingredients.
3. Spread the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 20 minutes in the center of the oven, till the strips are cooked. If a crispier texture is desired then bake the fries for a longer time in the oven. Serve hot with chilled non-fat plain yogurt seasoned with a little black pepper.
How time flies! It is one day after Thanksgiving and I am thankful for many things including this deliciously long weekend. This year we were invited to our friend Tyler's family's house for dinner up in Maryland. Tyler's mother Susan is a wonderful cook and an amazing host. She makes sure you are fed and fed well. She took care of everything from the turkey to the sides so when I was asked to bring an appetizer, I got a bit worried. What could I bring to the table that would serve as an appropriate snack to complement a Thanksgiving meal. At first the only thing that I could think of were sweet potatoes and pumpkin. My mind always moves to dessert as the default but again this holiday has its own menu of desserts.
Trying to stick with the holiday theme became difficult, so I realized that I might have to wipe the slate clean and think of something new or perhaps something old with a new look. For a while, I had been craving one of my favorite dishes from India, Goan potato chops. I have no idea why they are called potato chops but they are little stuffed delicacies composed of mashed potato pockets filled with ground meat and then breaded and pan fried to a crisp golden brown. I prefer to call them potato pockets as it is more straightforward.
Instead of using ground beef, I used lean ground turkey and re-tailored the spices to go with a more fall theme. I could have served these with a ketchup, but sometimes ketchup is boring. I prefer having accompaniments and condiments tailored specifically to the meal and the mood. A sweet and hot cranberry ginger chutney with hints of citrus and chili turned out to be terribly delicious with these potato pockets.
I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving just as we did.
yields: about 20-24
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1lb ground turkey
1 cup white wine
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
2 beaten eggs
2 cups bread crumbs
vegetable oil for frying
1. To a stockpot add the potatoes and fill with water till almost an inch above the potatoes. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and let them boil. Remove from the stove when the potatoes are tender and cooked. Mash the potato cubes to get a smooth paste. Season with salt and pepper. The potatoes should have the consistency of mashed potatoes but should not be runny or wet.
2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil and saute the onion, garlic and ginger till the onions become translucent. Add the cinnamon and garam masala to this and cook for another 20 seconds. Add the ground turkey and brown a little. Add the wine and vinegar and cook for about 30 minutes till all the liquid evaporates. Add the salt and pepper and taste and adjust if necessary. Add the fresh mint leaves and combine. Remove the pan from the stove and allow to cool for at least 45 minutes before preparing the pockets.
3. Set up a workstation with the beaten eggs in one bowl and the bread crumbs in another. With your hands take about 1-2 tablespoons of the potatoes and form a little cup in the palm of your hand. Add 1 tablespoon of the ground turkey meat in the center and then using your palms and fingers mold the potato around the meat to encase the ground meat. Seal the top of the cup with additional mashed potatoes. Form into a 1 -11/2 inch diameter stuffed discs with a thickness of about 3/4 of an inch. Make sure that no cracks are present in the potato case and if you see any, seal them with additional mashed potato mix. Heat the vegetable oil in a shallow pan for frying. Dip the potato pocket into the beaten eggs and coat well on each side. Toss the egg covered potato pocket in the bread crumbs till completely covered, tap the excess bread crumbs off and fry till golden brown on each side. Drain the excess oil out on a paper towel. Serve warm or hot with the sweet and hot cranberry ginger chutney.
sweet and hot cranberry ginger chutney
yields: about 1 cup
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup crystallized ginger
2. After 45 minutes, the sauce will thicken, remove from stove. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container or jar (or even can for long term storage). Once opened it will stay good for about a month in the refrigerator. This can be served warm, chilled or at room temperature.