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March 25, 2011

South African Samoosas, by Manshil

They’re a staple at any celebratory get-together back home, and are sooo versatile! They’re always filled with savory fillings (I did corn, coriander and feta, for example) or even sweet fillings.
You need samoosa pastry, Chinese spring roll pastry or phyllo pastry (in which case you may want to stick two sheets together since it’s so delicate). Cut these in rectangles, about 7cm x 25 cm (roughly, you needn’t be too exact). Remember to have a damp dishcloth at hand to wrap the pastry in to keep it from drying out as you work.
The trick with these is folding them, and it takes a fair bit of practice. I would say take a strip of paper; and do it on that a few times. First you start with a small container of flour and water mixed to a runny consistency- taking a corner, to the opposite edge, creating a funnel shape (i.e a small strip of the outside of the bottom edge must stick to the inside of the opposite long edge). Sparingly smear a bit of the flour mixture, and press lightly to stick the two surfaces together. Put your filling in of choice in the “funnel” so that it fills up just below the edge, and fold this up so the top of it is closed by the pasty above it, seal edges with more flour mixture, keep folding over until you reach the edge of your strip, and seal of remaining bit of pastry with your mixture. Voila! Get a bunch of people to do it together, it’s tons of messy fun!

Best to refrigerate before cooking for at least an hour (or half in the freezer). These can be frozen, and made direct from frozen! To cook, deep frying for about 3 minutes (or until golden brown) in any (medium heated) oil you would normally use for this, or like I do, take a baking tray, spray bottom with non-stick spray, brush samoosas lightly with vegetable oil, and put them in a preheated (180 degree celcius) oven for until golden brown (about 20min), not forgetting to flip over to get both sides crisp. Serve hot with lightly sweetened crème fraiche (touch of vanilla and honey!), or ice cream!

My filling of choice for dessert: dark organic chocolate, chopped, mixed in with a few red chilli flakes. You can do a ganache and mix in the flakes and a tiny bit of chillie powder to taste if you like it spicier, since the ganache is easy to pipe in, and you can mix the powder in. If you’re not a chillie fan (though chillie-chocolate is combination that will blow your mind and palate!) white chocolate and pistachios or cashews.

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