I had a chat with my dear friend, Ishay Govender, journalist and author of Curry: Stories & Recipes Across SA. We chuckled, as Ishay, not mincing her words, said that while she is open and gracious to most foods, she draws the line at a cold samoosa.
She went on to remind me that if you happen to crack an invite to an Indian person’s home for a meal, the curries, birianis, rotis and dals will undoubtedly be prepared before the guests arrive, but never the samoosas. The triangular pillows of joy are dropped into hot oil when guests arrive to ensure they are served crisp and piping hot. We went on to talk about sweetcorn and cheese fillings that were all the rage in the 2010s and a hit with corporate catering as an anglicised option that was a little reprieve from spicy green chillies included with all fillings.
I'm going to be straight with you. I don't know many folks who make samoosas from scratch. A laborious task and I’m not just talking about getting the pastry wafer-thin, which I know absolutely no-one makes themselves, opting for store-bought pastry. Also tricky is the technique of filling the samoosa, so there are no air pockets and holes. Failing which, you get an oil-logged soggy samoosa. I tried and failed miserably.
Like me, you will be better off buying a dozen; buying less makes no sense, as I'm positive you will cram no less than three just standing at the stove. I do, however, have a great recipe for green chutney. A lively condiment that goes very well with freshly fried samoosas or a tasty spread for sandwiches.
RECIPE: Green Chutney
1 cup of washed coriander, stems included
½ cup of washed mint leaves
1 clove of garlic and a similar sized piece of peeled ginger
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin powder
2 green chillies
½ tsp salt
1 TBPS Greek yoghurt
1. Add all the ingredients except the yoghurt to a small blender and whizz to a smooth paste.
2. Transfer to a serving bowl, check for seasoning and swirl through the yoghurt.
3. Serve as a dipping sauce with the piping-hot samoosas.