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Potato Samosas

Potato Samosas
Flaky fried pastries with savory fillings, samosas vary in shape by location and by cook. Indian samosas such as these are traditionally triangular or conical. The most popular filling is a mixture of potatoes and peas, seasoned with fragrant spices.

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • 1 1/3 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 3 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

For the samosa dough:

  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup water
  • Canola oil for frying
  • Cilantro-mint chutney for serving (see related
      recipe at right)

Directions:

To make the filling, put the potatoes and water in a pressure cooker. Cover and cook on high according to the manufacturer's instructions until the potatoes are just tender. Let the potatoes cool, then mash.

In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the 2 Tbs. oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the garam masala, cayenne, coriander, ginger, salt and potatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is fairly dry and the spices are toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and add the peas, cilantro and lemon juice. Let cool completely.

Meanwhile, prepare the samosa dough: In a small bowl, whisk together the 1/4 cup oil and water. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Stir in two-thirds of the oil-water mixture, then add more of the mixture, 1 Tbs. at a time, until the dough is just moistened and comes together in a ball.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 minute. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll the dough into a rope about 18 inches long and cut into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball and flatten into a disk. Roll out each into a 6-inch round, dusting often with flour. Cut each round into quarters.

Preheat a nonstick fry pan over medium-low heat. Working in batches, heat the dough until slightly crusty, about 30 seconds per side; do not brown.

For each samosa, brush half of the rounded edge with the cornstarch mixture. Bring the corners together and pinch the straight sides to form a seam. Spoon about 3 tsp. of the filling into the cone. Brush the top edges with the cornstarch mixture, then pinch together to enclose the filling.

Preheat an oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

In a deep fryer, heat oil to 350°F according to the manufacturer's instructions. Fry the samosas a few at a time, turning often, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the samosas to the prepared baking sheet and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve. Serve with cilantro-mint chutney. Makes 32.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, Savoring India, by Julie Sahni (Time-Life Books, 2001).