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jema

Idiots guide to Samosas

Anyone fancy me wrting an article on making Samosas?

I love these tasty snacks, and hacing made a couple of batches this week, seem finally to be getting up the learning curve Smile
sean

Seeing you've already got the pictures Jema............
jema

sean wrote:
Seeing you've already got the pictures Jema............


Well only of the finished article. Point is though I am not an expert on this, so is this the sort of cookery article we really want. Would people on this site be that interested?
sean

Yes I would be, seriously.
Lloyd

Me too!..You're well ahead of me on the learning curve!
Bugs

Yum. Please - if it makes you feel better you can theme it "reducing your reliance on the takeaway" Very Happy

What do you use for the casing...do you buy pastry from Indian grocers or by any chance, make your own? One of my housemates used to bring back gorgeous smelling/looking bags of samosas knocked up by his mum, but never bothered to find out how she did them Rolling Eyes . I made do with filo pastry and baking them, as recommended by my student cookbook Embarassed - they're perfectly nice like that though.

Also I'm afraid of deep frying, but I'm not sure that's a problem you need to address Wink Laughing
jema

Bugs wrote:
Yum. Please - if it makes you feel better you can theme it "reducing your reliance on the takeaway" Very Happy

What do you use for the casing...do you buy pastry from Indian grocers or by any chance, make your own? One of my housemates used to bring back gorgeous smelling/looking bags of samosas knocked up by his mum, but never bothered to find out how she did them Rolling Eyes . I made do with filo pastry and baking them, as recommended by my student cookbook Embarassed - they're perfectly nice like that though.

Also I'm afraid of deep frying, but I'm not sure that's a problem you need to address Wink Laughing


I confess I will buy volevon (spelling) cases and puff pastry, but aside from that I don't buy pastry. Given Samosas are meant to be incredibly cheap, it would also defeat the oject a bit.

I have on occasion used Besan flour, but I actually find the really cheap plain flour from the supermarket perfectly ok. I rub butter and salt in and make a dough using milk, recipes often say warm milk, but I don't think it makes much odds, having kneaded the dough, I out it in a carrier bag in the fridge for 30 mins.

As for frying. In my opinion like a chip, if you are going to have them do them properly. I deep fry in a bigish deep fat fryer 2 at a time. Two frying whilst I make two more.
Bugs

jema wrote:
having kneaded the dough, I out it in a carrier bag in the fridge for 30 mins.


How thin do you need to roll them? (You can answer in the article if you like - don't want to give away all your trade secrets:) )

Quote:
In my opinion like a chip, if you are going to have them do them properly.


It's not the health thing that frightens me so much as (a) the danger and (b) the waste of the oil...there's only two of us so we're not going to get a deep fat fryer or we'd be the size of a caravan...we do very occasionally do some deep frying in a saucepan but have to time it for a few days so we feel the oil is properly used...always seems such a waste. How long does the oil in your fryer keep/how many times can you reuse it? I imagine it's better than a saucepan because of the temp and the cover.
sean

I don't deep fry that often. Using a wok cuts down on the volume of oil you need. I put the used oil into a bottle (through a fine sieve) and find that it keeps indefinitely enough for my purposes.
jema

I find oil keeps a long time, and can be resused a lot. The oil I used today for the 25-30 Samosas I cooked, was not fresh and looked pretty iffy by the end, but as it cooled I imagine it has come back ok.

As for thickness. I used a slightely bigger than golf ball size piece of dough, roll that into a 6" diameter rough circle, and cut in two, so I have two semi circles each of which will make a Samosa.

One of my tips would be, that if the pastry is too thin, it make develop a hole, which is obviously very bad news. So err on the thick size and adjust as you gain experience.
Bugs

Sean wrote:
Using a wok cuts down on the volume of oil you need. I put the used oil into a bottle (through a fine sieve) and find that it keeps indefinitely enough for my purposes.


That's handy to know...have to see if we can dig out a wok from the attic.

Do you use the same oil for different things (eg, garlic/onions/meat/sweet) or does it taint?
jema

Bugs wrote:
That's handy to know...have to see if we can dig out a wok from the attic.

Do you use the same oil for different things (eg, garlic/onions/meat/sweet) or does it taint?


Contary to what you might think following my attitude on Samosas and chips, we do not deep fry enough to know. I'd say that if the oil is not, the food sealed, then tainting should not be much of an issue.
sean

Onions kill oil, so if you want to make onion rings do that with oil that you've used several times already. Otherwise if the oil is hot enough stuff is sealed so fast it isn't really a problem, I think. Having said that, I've never tried doing doughnuts which might pick up taint from other things.
So, Doughnuts new oil. Onions old oil. Everything else don't worry too much.
Bugs

Laughing I'm not accusing you of running a mini-McDo from your kitchen, Jema Wink Laughing Thanks for the info - I had thought the heat would probably do a good deal towards helping.
Bugs

sean wrote:
never tried doing doughnuts


Me neither, that's something that tempts me in to doing some deep frying, looooove doughnuts, but how much more unnecessarily piggy can you get? Deep fried cake rolled in sugar (says the girl with a weakness for pineapple fritters in syrup Rolling Eyes Embarassed ).

Thanks for the other tips; didn't really think onions would be the most "dangerous" thing (somehow I thought garlic and spices would be, although I think they'd be on the "to avoid" list too).
tahir

sean wrote:
Using a wok cuts down on the volume of oil you need. I put the used oil into a bottle (through a fine sieve) and find that it keeps indefinitely enough for my purposes.


Ditto
tahir

Your pastry looks good Jema, what's your recipe?
jema

tahir wrote:
Your pastry looks good Jema, what's your recipe?


Embarassed cheap plain flour, salt, salted butter, milk. But you probably want me to say the quantities and that was simply what looked right, same with ingredient amounts, I judged it, and 25 odd Samosas later the very last of the ingredients fitted neatly into the last cone Laughing
tahir

My mum's recipe is similar except she uses oil instead of milk and butter
tahir

tahir wrote:
My mum's recipe is similar except she uses oil instead of milk and butter


But nowadays she just uses filo pastry from sainsburys.
jema

tahir wrote:
tahir wrote:
My mum's recipe is similar except she uses oil instead of milk and butter


But nowadays she just uses filo pastry from sainsburys.


Two questions here. I am really not an expert pastry maker, but to me saying substituting oil for butter and milk makes a similar recipe, seems very strange!

Secondly as the dough is really really trivial in this case, it seems very odd to me that your Mum would you prebought filo pastry unless that is the result is profoundly better?
tahir

She uses filo cos nowadays she does large batches and freezes them so can't be bothered. The look of her samosas is very similar to yours with an almost shortcrusty yet crispy and bubbly feel, I prefer the homemade stuff but that's the way of the world.
nettie

You might be interested to know, Jema, that currently the most popular stall at our farmer's market is run by a middle aged Indian couple, who take a mini deep fat fryer with them and knock out nothing else except the most delicious samosas for a quid each. Bliss after a morning's shopping!
jema

nettie wrote:
You might be interested to know, Jema, that currently the most popular stall at our farmer's market is run by a middle aged Indian couple, who take a mini deep fat fryer with them and knock out nothing else except the most delicious samosas for a quid each. Bliss after a morning's shopping!


Are they big? i have not worked out my cost for a samosa but if its 10p including the cashews i'd be surprised.
nettie

Regular size I guess - about 4". What a mark-up! They do a choice of two - lamb or veggie - but they're absolutely scrummy, still sizzling from the fryer Very Happy
jema

nettie wrote:
Regular size I guess - about 4". What a mark-up! They do a choice of two - lamb or veggie - but they're absolutely scrummy, still sizzling from the fryer Very Happy


I love them however thay come, but probably prefer them cold, which is against my usual food tastes.
nettie

I'd only ever had them cold until three weeks ago.....but crispy filo is too much to resist!
Lloyd

Hot or cold, I love Samosas. Haven't been adventurous enough to make them yet though. I think we need an article to help us along!
jema

Madman wrote:
Hot or cold, I love Samosas. Haven't been adventurous enough to make them yet though. I think we need an article to help us along!


I'll have one done some time this week. I think I'll make some meat ones, so I can give veggie and meat choices Smile Must say though that Samosas are one of those dishes that make vegetarianism attractive, I prefer a veggie Samosa to a meat one.
postman

Re: Idiots guide to Samosas

jema wrote:
Anyone fancy me wrting an article on making Samosas?

I love these tasty snacks, and hacing made a couple of batches this week, seem finally to be getting up the learning curve Smile


OHHHH... those samosa look so yummy it's provoked an appetite in me.
twoscoops

nettie wrote:
Regular size I guess - about 4". What a mark-up! They do a choice of two - lamb or veggie - but they're absolutely scrummy, still sizzling from the fryer Very Happy



Sounds like a good example of the value outweighing the cost.

Please feel free to call me stupid, but i remember hearing somewhere that after polyunsaturated fat has been used for cooking it becomes saturated. Sounds daft, I know, but is it a tall tale?
tahir

Twoscoops wrote:
I remember hearing somewhere that after polyunsaturated fat has been used for cooking it becomes saturated. Sounds daft, I know, but is it a tall tale?


All sorts of things happen to fats at high temparature, the molecules break down and some hydrogenation (transfattty acids) occurs as well as the formation of some saturates.

I think that's roughly right but neither happens to a great degree unless you use the same oil for ages.
Res

I wonder if CAB can come up with a wild food filling for a Samosa!?

Would be even cheaper then, and veggie! OH CAB, where are you..!
cab

Res wrote:
I wonder if CAB can come up with a wild food filling for a Samosa!?

Would be even cheaper then, and veggie! OH CAB, where are you..!


Errm, wild samosas... Let me have a wee think.
tahir

Wild samosas? How's about pigeon with assorted wild greens?
Res

I did'nt think of that, mind you the only time I get to eat a pigeon is if one is playing "chicken" across the road !*?
tahir

You could probably do a nice mushroom and greens one too, especially in the autumn with maybe chestnuts in there.
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