Saturday, October 25, 2008

Game Day Food: Samosas

Vegetable Samosas with Mint Yogurt Sauce
'Tis the season for sports. You've got the NBA, MLB, and NFL. There's the World Series, Monday night football, college games, pro games, and even fantasy games. And for foodies and sport fans alike there's the game-food. What better excuse do you need to produce a delicious spread? There is nothing wrong with traditional sporty foods - who doesn't love 7-layer dip or buffalo wings - but how about something just a wee bit different?

When we were moored in Savusavu, Fiji, we used to go into the Yacht Club on Friday nights, and if we were lucky their TV and generator would be working so we'd be able to catch some Rugby or Rugby-Sevens. And if we were REALLY lucky the local Fijian-Indian woman from down the street would show up with her Samosas. These were delightful stuffed pastries full of vegetables, potatoes, and spices - Chris and I would eat so many that we'd call it dinner.

For me, one critical criteria for game-food is that I need to be able to make it ahead of time, after all I don't want to be banging around the kitchen ('er galley) while all my friends are in front of the tube catching the action. I wasn't too sure how these samosas would keep, as they are definitely best served warm, so I did a bit of experimenting. There are two ways you can make them - using a puff/filo pastry or using wonton wrappers (and of course the third way is to make your own dough). If you use the puff pastry or filo the samosas can be baked, therefore you can make them ahead of time, store them in the refrigerator or freezer and then bake just before serving. If you would like to use the wonton wrappers they are best fried. To make these ahead, fry as directed, cool completely, and then freeze. Thaw for about an hour and then pop them in the oven (on a lightly greased baking sheet) for about 5-10 minutes which will not only heat them up but bring back their crispness.

Happy Game Day!

2 potatoes, peeled, cooked until soft, and chopped finely
1 carrot, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp curry powder (more to taste)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh chili, diced
salt & pepper to taste
puff pastry, wonton wrappers, or filo dough
oil for shallow pan frying (if not baking)

Mint Yogurt Sauce for dipping (recipe below)

Saute the onion, garlic, and carrot in 1 TB oil until the onion just starts to turn soft (carrots should still be crisp). Mix in the lemon juice, soy sauce, chili, and spices - heat until fragrant. Remove from heat

Add the potatoes and frozen peas to the onion-carrot mixture.

Using puff pastrys (good fried or baked), wonton wrappers (best fried) or filo dough (best baked); Cut 4 inch rounds and place a heaping teaspoon of the mixture on one side of each round. Fold the round over and seal edges (if puff pastry press together with fork, if wonton seal with water or by pressing, if filo dough using fork or press with fingers).

If baking: follow the directions on pastry package - baking on greased baking sheet until pastry is nice and brown.
If frying: Heat 3/4 inch of oil in a pan; add samosas and cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden browned. Drain on a paper towel.

Serve hot with Mint Yogurt Sauce.

Makes about 25 samosas

Mint Yogurt Sauce with Samosas

Mint Yogurt Sauce:
1 cup plain, thick (such as Greek-style) yogurt
3 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin

Combine all ingredients in a blow and stir until smooth. Store in the refrigerator.


Heather said...

Yours look amazing. So gotta know. Did you use puff pastry, wontons or filo...

Billabong Blog said...

Thanks Heather ... I used wonton wrappers and fried in a bit of oil, then "drained" well (changing the paper towel a number of times in order to have them not be greasy). But, I have also eaten them made with puff pastry and they are delicious.

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Welcome to My Galley, where you'll find an array of recipes and food bits. Having traveled to 23 countries in the last five years I lean towards Intl cuisines, but you'll find a few home-town favorites as well.
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