Four Generations of Ismaili Indian Women

Samosas (enough for one filling)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour 50 mL
2 to 3 tbsp cold water 30 to 45 mL
18 samosa wrappers 18
Vegetable oil for frying
6 sheets phyllo pastry 6
1/4 cup melted clarified butter (ghee) 50 mL
Lemon wedges
Meat Filling:
1 tbsp vegetable oil 15 mL
1 lb lean ground beef 500 g
1 medium Spanish onion, chopped, divided1
6 green onions, chopped 6
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) 15 mL
12 fresh mint leaves, chopped 12
1 tsp minced garlic 5 mL
1 tsp (approx.) salt 5 mL
1/2 tsp (approx.) ground green chili* 2 mL
1/2 tsp minced fresh gingerroot 2 mL
1/2 tsp garam masala* 2 mL
1/2 tsp Dhana Jeerah powder* 2 mL
(mixed ground cumin and coriander seeds)
1/2 tsp ground red chili or cayenne pepper 2 mL
Pinch turmeric Pinch

In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook beef and half of Spanish onion, stirring, for about 10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Let cool. Stir in remaining Spanish onion, green onions, cilantro, mint, garlic, salt, green chili, gingerroot, garam masala, Dhana Jeerah, red chili and turmeric. Season to taste with more salt and chili, if desired. Let cool completely before assembly. Makes about 4 cups (1 L), enough for 18 samosas.

Vegetable Filling:
1/2 cup moong dal (small yellow split lentils) 125 mL
4 tsp vegetable oil 20 mL
1/2 tsp mustard seeds 2 mL
Half dried red chili, broken into pieces Half
1 potato, peeled and diced 1
1 carrot, sliced 1
1 cup frozen peas, thawed and pureed 250 mL
Half onion, chopped Half
1 tsp each minced fresh gingerroot and garlic 5 mL
1/2 tsp (approx.) salt 2 mL
1/2 tsp (approx.) ground green chili* 2 mL
1/2 tsp each garam masala*, turmeric and 2 mL
granulated sugar
1/2 tsp lemon crystals*(ascorbic acid, see Tip) 2 mL
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) 50 mL

In bowl, cover dal with plenty of water. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight. Drain and rinse well. Drain again.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds and red chili and cook, stirring, until seeds pop. Quickly add dal, potato, carrot and peas. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in onion, gingerroot, garlic, salt, green chili, garam masala, turmeric, sugar and lemon crystals. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until all liquid is evaporated. Let cool completely. Stir in cilantro. Season to taste with more salt and green chili, if desired. Makes about 4 cups (1 L), enough for 18 samosas.

Assembly: If using samosa wrappers, in small bowl, stir enough of the cold water into flour to make a smooth paste to use as glue. Wrap one strip of samosa wrapper around hand to make a triangular cone (see package for directions). Fill with a scant 1/4 cup (50 mL) of desired filling. Seal edges with flour mixture. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.
In large pot or deep fryer, heat oil to 375ºF (190ºC) on a deep-fry thermometer (or until a bread cube turns golden brown in about 40 seconds). Fry samosas a few at a time, for about 4 minutes, turning once or until golden brown. Transfer to paper towel-lined tray to drain. Keep warm while frying remaining samosas. Let oil heat up or cool down as necessary between batches to ensure even frying.
(If using phyllo, lay 1 sheet of phyllo on work surface, keeping remaining phyllo covered with a damp cloth to prevent drying out. Brush sheet with a thin layer of clarified butter. Cut lengthwise into three strips. Place a scant 1/4 cup (50 mL) of filling about 2-inches (5 cm) from bottom of each strip. Fold 1 corner of phyllo over filling to make triangle. Fold up triangle. Continue folding triangle sideways and upward along strip to end. Tuck edge underneath and brush outside of triangle with butter. Place seam side down on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining phyllo and filling. Bake in 375ºF (190ºC) oven for about 15 minutes or until golden and filling is hot.)
Serve hot samosas with lemon wedges to squeeze over. Makes about 18 samosas per filling.

*Ground green chili is available in jars at Indian grocery stores and in the imported foods section of some supermarkets.
Lemon crystals (Ascorbic acid) is available at Indian stores and some health food or bulk food stores.
Garam masala: a spice blend available at Indian grocery stores and some supermarkets in the international foods or spice section
Dhana Jeerah powder: a spice blend available at Indian grocery stores; if unavailable, use 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each ground cumin and coriander seeds

Variation: In place of samosa wrappers or phyllo pastry, nine 8.5-inch (21.5 cm) square Asian spring roll wraps can be used. Cut each square in half to make 2 rectangles. Fill and fold into triangles as per phyllo instructions. Seal with flour paste as for samosa wrapper instructions and fry as directed.