Sure. I can rationalize. But occasionally I have to leave Sonoma and go to a meeting at a studio in LA. I have to put on real pants (I refuse to go near pajama jeans!) and real shoes. I know myself and I know if I go there, the next step is walking around in a Snuggie. Then comes the clapper and fried everything. I have to draw the line somewhere.
This is the main reason that no matter how much I love the taste of fried anything, I seem to be on an endless search for the ultimate baked anything. One of the main anythings on my list are samosas.
For my birthday a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to serve an array of Indian snack/street food. I was planning on serving vadai, those delicious, fried, savory doughnuts. Since I was going over the falls in a deep fryer with one dish, I figured I'd better be on my best behavior when it came to the samosas I'd planned on serving.
I'd attempted baked samosas at my birthday last year, and while they certainly worked using regular samosa dough, they lacked the necessary crunch which is required of a true samosa. Not wanting to give up, I started looking around for something that would crisp up when I shoved it into the oven. I found my answer pretty quickly. Phyllo dough! Yes, phyllo dough is not just for spanakopita anymore!
I bought myself a box of organic phyllo dough (3 bucks and change at Whole Foods for a pound of the stuff) and set out to make baked samosas.
Here's what to do:
Make your samosa filling. Now, there are many fillings for samosas. I used a basic potato and pea filling. This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Just bring it to room temperature before making the samosas.
Boil 1and 1/2 pound of boiling potatoes until tender. About 20 to 30 minutes.
If you plan on making the samosas later, refrigerate the potatoes without peeling them.
Putting The Filling Together:
In a skillet or kadhai heat 2 Tbs of vegetable oil.
When the oil is hot, toss in:
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
2 shallots thinly sliced
1 tsp of salt
1/2 cup of green peas (fresh or defrosted)
Then add in the mashed potatoes.
1/4 tsp of garam masala
1 tsp of amchur (dried mango) powder. If you don't have amchur powder, a great substitute for this is lemon juice.
The Samosa Wrappers:
Here is where the Phyllo dough comes in. First, preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
Defrost the phyllo dough.
Melt 1 stick of butter. This is going to be used to brush the phyllo dough and make it crisp up nicely.
It important to keep the dough protected from the air while you're working with it.
Unroll the phyllo dough and place a sheet of it on whatever surface you're working on.
Cover the dough you're not using, with a damp towel.
Brush the sheet of phyllo dough with some melted butter
Slice the phyllo dough the long way into 2 and 1/2 inch strips.
Take 1 tsp of potato filling and place it in the corner of one of the strip s filling the corner.
Lay the little triangle onto a greased cookie sheet and brush it with a bit of melted butter.
When the samosas are nice and light brown and crispy, take them out and serve them.
So, there are your baked samosas. They work. All of them were eaten lickty split and even hard core fried fan, Alan said they were great. Eating those baked samosas will enable me to wriggle into my skinny black jeans and prance around the film festival this weekend where I'm hoping to have another brief encounter with Harveys' Gourmet Mini Donuts in a cone. Harvey already sent me a text that he'll be vending his wares at the Film Festival. Take a look at these. How can I resist?
I'll be filing all sorts of reports about the doings at the Sonoma International Film Festival this weekend. What's to see and what's to eat. It starts today. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori