Cat and Sue Cook Together for Once, Volume 3: Vegetarian Samosas and Mango Chutney

This is another good example of how Cat and I don’t always get along in the kitchen…but through our stubbornness and eventual compromise, we come up with something great. Cat and I both really enjoy Indian food, although I will admit that Cat was the first person who introduced me to it, and she also has more experience cooking it. This, however, did not stop me from asserting my opinions. For instance I HATE ginger, I think it tastes like soap. I know there are a lot of you out there who feel exactly the same as me. That said…I realize the importance of it in certain dishes. Specifically Indian food- but even in things like my mom’s baked beans. Eventually we compromised on it all and OH MY GOD did these turn out good. We had some leftover potato mixture…and it all got eaten within a day. On to the recipe:

Veggie Samosa Filling:

6 small to medium potatoes cubed

1 cup of peas, frozen

2 Tbs of ghee (or clarified butter)

1 medium sized yellow onion finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 ½ tsp salt

2 tsp ground coriander

3 tsp turmeric

2 ½ tsp garam masala

2 tsp ground cumin

¼ cup cream or milk
Cat and I also disagreed with the potato preparation (I have a maniacal problem with peeled potatoes, it makes no sense to me to remove the healthiest part of the vegetable – Cat) but the end compromise was perfect. I peeled the potatoes randomly, as in if I saw an eye, or a dark spot, I peeled it. But we kept most of the skin. Cube the potatoes into small bite size pieces and boil in salted water until fork soft, about 10 mins.  Drain and place in a large bowl. With a potato masher or a fork, slightly mash the potatoes, leaving a fair amount of chunks. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, heat the ghee (see note about ghee at the end) until melted, add the onions and sauté on medium for about 5 minutes, then add garlic and sauté both until soft and translucent. Add all the spices and keep stirring until they are fragrant and have evenly coated the onions and garlic. Add the onion mixture, and the cup of frozen peas to the potato mixture. Fold the mixture together.

The mixture will still probably be a bit crumbly, so add the ¼ cup of cream and mix again. Taste, and add any additional spices you think it needs.

At this point Cat and I added a bit of extra turmeric (which has very little flavor but creates the lovely yellow color) and a bit more garam masala. I accounted for both of these additions in the recipe, but the idea is that samosas vary from family to family, restaurant to restaurant, so feel free to adjust the spices to your own liking.

Mango Chutney

Sauces are kind of my thing.  Dressings, too.  Ask anyone.  This chutney turned out fantastically.  I had two issues at the start of this recipe.  First: I hate when mango chutney has too-big mango chunks that make it hard to dip whatever you’re eating.  Second: I refused to exclude the ginger, even though Sue really, really wanted to.  Mango chutney is good on samosas, obviously, but of course is a great accompaniment to any Indian dish, and probably anything Thai also.  It would also be fantastic with jalapenos wrapped in bacon.  Just saying.

2 ripe mangoes, cut into a nice small dice (people cut mangoes a lot of ways, I do it this way for chutney: peel the mangoes with a vegetable peeler, cut all the flesh off you can, the end.)

2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 clove of garlic, pressed or minced

1/2 an onion, minced

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup pineapple juice (or other citrus, orange would be just fine)

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon

salt and pepper

Put everything in a saucepan.  Boil it gently on medium-low heat until it’s thick and golden, probably 45 minutes.  Cool and serve.

Samosa dough

Our original idea was to use Goya empanada wrappers because we thought the dough texture would be similar to the typically fried samosas. We could not find it anywhere. On our last attempt we checked Whole Foods, who also didn’t have it, then we thought we might try wonton wrappers (another good alternative to baked versus fried dough) but since it was Whole Foods, they didn’t have that either. SO we finally settled on my pie dough recipe. Which worked, quite well, but was not perfect, and kind of split apart in the baking process.

The point of that long ramble is….do whatever you want for dough. You can either use pre-made or homemade pie dough, frozen empanada wrappers, wonton wrappers, or Google a recipe for samosa dough. The only thing we would not suggest is puff pastry dough, this is far too buttery and sweet for something like this.

For our assembly we used a jar lid to cut the dough into 4 inch circles. We placed a small amount of filling on one side, folded the other side over, pinched it shut, and brushed the tops with butter. These cooked for about 35 minutes. Since your filling is already cooked, your cooking time will vary based on dough you choose to use.

Trust us, whatever type of dough you use…they will be delicious.

A note:

Ghee (the fat used in most Indian cooking) is clarified butter. You can buy it in the super market, but if you do, you are stupid. Clarified butter is easy to make, there are instructions here. Cat and I were lucky because my boyfriend keeps clarified butter in the fridge for his amazing omelet making, so we didn’t have to make it, but we could have. The reason clarified butter is essential in something like this (and a lot of dishes really) is because it has a higher smoke point. The solid fats and cream are all skimmed off, so there’s nothing left to burn. What happens when butter burns is that it turns into browned butter, if you do it right, or burnt, nasty tasting butter if you do it wrong. Either way- it’s not the flavor you want in this recipe, so clarified butter is best.

– Cat and Sue

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Filed under Appetizers, Cat and Sue Cook Together for Once, Recipes, Vegetarian

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