Let me tell you... making samosas from scratch... is an incredibly frustrating and rewarding experience. When I first saw this recipe for Potatoes and Peas Samosas from Playful Cooking, I thought, "well that doesn't sound so bad." I've made empanadas and dumplings before, how bad can it be?
Three attempts later and I am still baffled.
The filling is not the issue; that part is actually easy. We used the filling from the Picky Eater Blog because it sounded more like our kind of party with the addition of red onion and fresh ginger. We like our samosas to be bold. Mike made the filling the first time and were both eating it by the spoonful from the bowl. Always a good sign! Adjust accordingly to the amount of dough you're making and flavor to your spice level.
The dough takes patience. It can be stiff so keep adding water until it's manageable. We had a small adventure locating "carom seeds" and found them at an international market. There are plenty of recipes that do not incorporate the seeds into the dough but I surprisingly enjoyed the flavor. They smell like thyme and give a slight edge to the flavor similar to anise.
Ensuring that the samosas hold their form while frying is the issue. A big issue.
During round one, I let the dough rest for way too long and it became incredibly tough and elastic. Most of the samosas fell apart in the oil which was deserved. Only a handful survived and our Nepali friends kindly raved about them. Their words of encouragement fueled my determination.
The second round is the one pictured in this post. I let the dough rest the exact amount of time and was not shy about adding water. Following Playful Cooking's directions, the oil started at room temperature. I sealed the seams meticulously with a lil extra water and pinched, pinched, pinched! I was generous with the overlap of the dough and didn't heat the oil until after the samosas were added.
As you can see, it turned out quite lovely! Perfect, crispy samosas. My work here is done!
Not so fast, young grasshopper. The third time I made these, my ego got checked. I followed the directions to the letter and did exactly what I had done the time prior. Over half of them opened while frying thus ruining the filling and oil. What a mess! How is this possible!? There's nothing worse than watching the oil bubbles seep into the seams of the dough and gently, relentlessly push them apart. Gurus of the Samosa world, I implore you... tell me what I keep doing wrong to incur the wrath of the evil vegetable oil?
Maybe next time, I will use a different recipe for the dough to see if there's a difference. Another option is to bake them which is healthier... and I'm sure less stressful. Until the next episode!