Daily Vegan Lunch for 11 March, 2013: Samosa Chaat

samosa chaat with 2 chutneys

Samosa is a spicy deep-fried potato and pea dumpling. Chaat means “snack”. You can often buy samosas in the freezer section of the grocery store. Some Indian grocery stores, like the fabulous one by me, actually sell freshly made samosas from a deli counter in the store.  One  problem pre-made or store bought samosas is they’re usually deep fried.  I love deep fried foods but I seldom eat them because as much as I don’t gain weight as fast as before I was vegan, deep-fried foods are still calorie bombs and they are very acid-producing and bad for my health.  You also may not like the samosas from the Indian restaurant or deli because they are almost invariably hot-spicy if you live in the US.

These samosas are baked, which wipes out a lot of unnecessary calories.  Baking doesn’t take away any of the flavor from what I’ve noticed.  I also left out the hot peppers because sometimes I’m into hot spice and at others I’m not.  Today I wasn’t into it.  The secret?  Sweet brown chutney and the sour parsley-cilantro chutney put this over the top in deliciousness.

SAMOSA DOUGH INGREDIENTS:

1 teaspoon oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
About 1/4 to 1/2 cup water, add little by little

SAMOSA FILLING INGREDIENTS:

4 small potatoes, unpeeled, or 2 medium large potatoes, unpeeled (about 4 cups chopped)
Water for boiling
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup frozen or canned peas, defrosted in microwave
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon fennel powder or fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder or cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon amchur powder (dried pulverized mango powder sold in Indian grocery stores) or the juice of 1/2 a lemon or lime
Salt to taste

SAMOSA CHAAT INGREDIENTS:

1 or 2 samosas, split in half
1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Brown sweet chutney and green sour chutney

SAMOSA DIRECTIONS:

Make the dough by combining flour, salt, oil and a little water at a time in a bowl or on a large flat surface.  Scoop it and mess with it until the dough forms a solid ball and knead the crap out of it to develop the gluten in the dough, about 2 minutes.  Once the dough ball is very Play-Dohish in texture, cover it and set it aside for 20 minutes while you make the potato-pea filling.  The dough needs to rest for 20 minutes before you roll it.

Chop the potatoes after washing them.  I don’t bother to skin them.  Boil the chopped potatoes in water on the stove for about 10 minutes until they’re just fork tender.  Strain them and set them aside.  Microwave or boil peas until just defrosted for frozen, for canned peas strain and rinse them.  Fry garam masala, cumin, fennel, and coriander in 1 tablespoon of oil and add peas.  Add drained potatoes and smash them with the peas.  Add amchur powder or lemon or lime juice.  Taste and add salt to taste.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Divide the dough into 4 equal portions.  Flatten a ball of dough and roll it out with a rolling pin until it is the thinness of a thin pie crust.  Cut the dough circle in half and make it into a fat ice cream cone shape by pasting the two edges together using water.  Stuff the little cone with a heaping tablespoon of potato mixture and seal the top of the cone up so that all of the potato filling is enclosed in a packet.  Put a tablespoon or two of oil on a cookie sheet or casserole dish and lay the samosa down in the oil.  Flip the samosa a couple of times to coat it.  Alternately, you don’t have to use oil anywhere in this recipe.  I’m not all that concerned with being fat free, so I went ahead and used oil. Make the rest of the samosas and lay them down in the casserole dish or cookie sheet.  They can touch each other, they won’t stick.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Flip them and bake 10 minutes more for a total of 25 minutes baking time.

SWEET BROWN CHUTNEY INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup raisins
4-6 dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper

SOUR GREEN CHUTNEY INGREDIENTS:

2 cups washed parsley, densely packed
1/2 a lemon’s juice
1 cup cilantro (this is a good way to use excess cilantro, but replace with parsley, kale, or chard if you don’t like cilantro)
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 teaspoon salt

CHUTNEY DIRECTIONS:

Whirl sweet chutney ingredients in a blender or food processor until they are a chunky paste. Scoop out into a bowl. Clean out blender or food processor, use it again to do the same to sour chutney’s ingredients.

ASSEMBLE THE SAMOSA CHAAT:

Serve samosa by reheating them for about 30 seconds in the microwave if necessary and splitting one or two of them in half. Put some chickpeas around the split samosas and dollop generous spoonfuls of the sweet and sour chutneys on them.

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