” One more plate coming up…”
A few minutes later… “and anooother… “
And so on it goes one lazy Sunday afternoon we’d spent with a bunch of friends playing rummy… At about four, I’d altruistically (i have the excuse of being very young!!) offered to make samosas for all of us – there were five of us – husband, me, my brother-in-law and a couple of bachelor friends of his. Since we were among the few married couples in the group, these card sessions were usually at our place.
Growing up with two brothers with rather LARGE appetites, i was quite used to churning out the very large quantities of food they seemed to need to sustain them ( i remember one marathon poori making session where we made close to two hundred pooris for just three of four of them – one brother and couple of friends – the sight of a poori made me sick for weeks afterward!)
And so started the samosa session – kilograms of potatoes and peas, seemingly a granary of flour and many dozens of samosas later, i threw in the towel!! No more – if you’re still hungry, eat thayir saadam (curd rice or if we were in pre-Revolution France, the equivalent would have been – fill your tummy with bread!) – was the threat! While the rest looked suitably abashed (not one samosa left for me, btw and if i hadn’t been smart enough to take a sneak preview, i would have been the one eating thayir saadam – only!), the biggest eater of them all, Chandru – looks disappointed – “but I ate only forty”!!
With all of us becoming diet conscious in our later years, samosas appeared less and less frequently at teatime – the decreasing frequency being attended by increasing guilt pangs! One of these occasions was when my daughter decided that she’d had about as much as she could stand of a corporate career – after spending four months with a consulting firm!!! – and decided to quit to pursue her love of running and fitness. Last day of work – and she wanted something really special for the rest of the poor sods (in her opinion!) who had to continue. Decided to rustle up “kajjikayis” (karanjis), the D-shaped stuffed sweets that we could die for and quickly start kneading dough. As I start mixing the stuffing, find that the copra (dry coconut) has gone “off” and I need to do something in a real hurry with half an hour to go. Whirling like a dervish, microwave potatoes and peas, make the masala, roll out the pooris, stuff and fry the samosas – and collapse after packing a couple of dozen samosas for her co-workers.
The rest of the day is spent basking in the complimentary sms-es that keep flowing in but I am convinced now that samosas in particular, need something like adrenalin flowing in to start the job!
Here’ s what you do once the adrenalin flows in:
- Maida – plain flour – 1 cup (makes about 15)
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- Potatoes – 4 large – boil and peel
- Green peas – 2 tbsp – boil or microwave on high for 3 minutes with a tsp of water.
- Carrots – 2 – peel and microwave for 3 minutes
- Onions – 1 large – sliced fine
- Green chilies – minced – 2
- Ginger – minced – 1/2 tsp
- Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp
- Jeera – cumin seed powder – 1/2 tsp
- Chaat masala or kala namak (pink Himalayan salt) – 1 large pinch
- Asafoetida powder – 1 large pinch
- Turmeric – 1 large pinch
- Juice of half a large lemon
- Chopped coriander/mint – 1 heaped tbsp
- Oil to deep fry
Mash the potatoes and carrots together. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and fry the onions, chili and ginger. Mix in the powders and salt. Switch off, add lemon juice and coriander / mint. Let cool.
For the covering
Mix the maida with 1/4 tsp salt. Pour in the melted ghee and mix till the mixture is breadcrumb-y. Add water a little at a time and knead to a medium soft dough. Divide into marble sized balls and roll out into thin, very thin pooris. Place a little filling – about 1 tsp in one quadrant of the circle and roll the poori in half and then half again – till it forms a sort of puffed up triangle.
Deep fry on a low flame till crisp and golden and serve with tamarind sauce / mint chutney/ ketchup – or plain!