Vegetable samosas

Try a vegetarian version of this popular Indian snack - vary the vegetables to the season
By Cyrus Todiwala
Vegetable samosas
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 12
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 500 g vegetables, such as a mix of carrot, peas, French beans, potato and chopped fresh spinach
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 50 g finely minced garlic
  • 50 g finely minced ginger
  • 2 large green chillies, finely chopped
  • 200 g minced onions
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp coriander, powder
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin, powder
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 200 g minced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • sugar, to taste
  • 2 heaped tbsp chopped fresh coriander

For the chutney

  • 150 g fresh grated coconut, or desiccated coconut soaked in a little warm water
  • 1/2 large bunch or about 60g coriander
  • about 30 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tsp crushed roasted cumin seeds
  • 1 heaped tsp sugar
  • 3-4 green chillies, depending how hot they are
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric, powder
  • 2.5 cm piece ginger
  • 1 heaped tbsp roasted peanuts

For the samosas

  • 1 packet spring roll wrappers, each 20-23cm square
  • flour and water, to make a paste
  • sunflower or vegetable oil, for deep frying

Tips and Suggestions

You can watch Cyrus make his samosas here.

When blanching the diced vegetables, do not overcook or let them lose their colour, as they will cook further when fried.

Method

1. For the filling: blanch the diced vegetables, not the spinach, for 2-3 minutes, or until just tender, then refresh in cold water and drain well. Set aside. If using fresh spinach, just flash-blanch, cool quickly, then chop, squeeze out the liquid and keep separate.

2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Put in the garlic, ginger and green chillies and fry until the garlic begins to change colour. Stir in the onions and fry until they turn a pale brown. Mix the turmeric, coriander, cumin and chilli powders in a cup with just enough water to make a paste of pouring consistency, then stir this into the onions. Pour a bit more water into the cup to release any spice residue and keep for later additions, as once you add the spices, remember the base will begin to stick. However it is essential to see that the spices cook thoroughly, so to achieve this without spoiling, it is best to add a bit of this spice water so you release the spices at the base as well as prevent them from burning and turning the dish bitter. Fry the spice paste and when oil is seen being released at the bottom of the pan, it shows that the spices are now cooked. Tip in the tomato and cook until the liquid is almost dry, but still slightly wet. Stir in the lime juice and sugar, then the diced vegetables, adding the chopped spinach last. Cook for 1-2 minutes then taste and check the seasoning. Stir in the chopped coriander and set aside to cool.

3. For the chutney: blend all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth, adding a little water to loosen if needed. Season with salt, then taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.

4. For the samosas: take the whole pile of spring roll wrappers out of the package and place this on a chopping board. Lay an 18cm plate on the pile. Cut around the plate to make a pile of pastry rounds, then cut the pile into half to form even semicircles. Make a paste from the flour and water so its like a thick glue. Shape cones from two pastry semicircles on top of each other, fill with the stuffing, fold over until you have perfect triangle shapes with sides of equal length, then seal the edges securely with the paste.

5. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or large heavy saucepan to 180C. Fry the samosas in batches for 6 minutes until golden all over. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper and serve with the chutney.

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