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Ingredients
  • To make the filling:
    2/3 large beetroots, boiled & peeled, cut into1cm cubes
    1 bunch of watercress, roughly chopped
    1-2 green chillies (according to how spicy you like them), finely chopped
    2-3” thumb of ginger, finely chopped
    ½ tsp cumin seeds
    1 tsp mild chilli powder
    1 tsp green mango powder (amchoor)
    Pinch of asafoetida
    ½ tsp salt (to taste)

  • To make the spice mix, toast & grind the following whole spices (or substitute 2 tsp garam masala):
    1 clove
    4 black peppercorns
    2 green cardamoms
    ½ tsp cumin seeds
    ½ tsp fennel seeds
    1 tsp coriander seeds

  • To make the pastry:
    240g plain flour
    4 tbsp veg oil
    6 tbsp water
    1 tsp ajwain (carom) seeds
    1 tsp sea salt (to taste)

  • Veg oil for frying

I just love samosas. They are one of my ultimate vegan snacks when I'm travelling in India (you can read more about my ode to the samosa here). This recipe is based on a traditional Punjabi style samosa, so if you want to make something more traditional, just replace the beetroot and watercress for potato and pea (2 or 3 potatoes and half a cup of frozen peas should be enough). The combination of beetroot and watercress, together with the spicing, is absolutely delicious. If you don't have grinder to make the whole spice mix or are short on time, then you can just substitute some garam masala powder. You can buy whole cooked beetroot to save time too, but make sure it hasn't been pickled. If you buy whole beets with the leaves, then you can also chop the leaves and add them to the filling along with the watercress. 

Method

  1. Prepare the pastry by mixing together the flour, ajwain seeds, oil and salt. Rub together to create a crumb consistency.
  2. Add water gradually kneading together until, you get a soft dough. Cover with damp tea towel and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Toast the whole spices in a pan and then grind the whole spices to a fine powder (I use a coffee grinder, or you can use a pestle and mortar). Set aside ½ teaspoon of whole cumin seeds unground to use in the filling.
  4. In a large frying pan or wok, add the ginger and green chilli, and cook gently for about 2-3 minutes, then add the remaining whole cumin seeds, and cook for another minute or two until they start to crackle.
  5. Add the freshly ground spice mix (or garam masala if using) and then the chilli powder, mango powder, asafoetida and beetroot cubes. Mix well and cook gently for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and add the watercress. Mix well and set aside to cool.
  7. Knead the dough and divide into 6-8 equal balls. Lightly dust the work surface with flour and roll out the balls into large discs.
  8. Cut the circle of pastry in half down the middle, and take one half of the pastry into your hand. Brush some water down the straight edge and bring together those edges, like a cone, and seal them well.
  9. Fill the cone of pastry with a tablespoon or so of filling, then dampen the edge and seal closed by pinching the top edges together.
  10. Roll and fill the remaining pastry, to make approximately 12-15 samosas (depending on how big you want to make them).
  11. Heat approx. 1 litre of vegetable oil in a deep pan. Drop a cube of bread to check when the oil is hot enough. It should sizzle immediately and rise to the surface.
  12. Gently fry your samosas in batches, for about 8 minutes, turning halfway through. Lay samosas on kitchen roll to drain afterwards. You can keep them warm in a low oven. Or allow them to cool and then reheat later. They will keep in the fridge for several days.
  13. For a healthier option, samosas can also be baked in an moderate oven for 30-40 mins (approx. 180C). Just brush them lightly with some oil prior to baking.
  14. Serve warm with some spicy chutney or cooling raita, and a hot cup of Indian masala tea (chai).
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