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    • Randy Graham

    • May 23, 2014 in Columnists



    Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

    Bite-sized samosa appetizers.


    According to The Samosa Connection website:

    The samosa probably traveled to India along ancient trade routes from Central Asia. Small, crisp mince-filled triangles that were easy to make around the campfire during night halts, then conveniently packed into saddlebags as snacks for the next day’s journey. By the early 14th Century, it was not only a part of Indian cuisine but also food fit for a king. Amir Khusrao, prolific poet of Delhi royalty, observed in 1300 that the royal set seemed partial to the ‘samosa prepared from meat, ghee, onion and so on’. In 1334, the renowned traveler Ibn Battuta wrote about the sambusak, ‘minced meat cooked with almonds, pistachios, onions and spices placed inside a thin envelop of wheat and deep-fried in ghee’.

    What makes my samosa recipe unique? My version is vegan and instead of deep fried, it is baked. In addition, it has an amazing combination of flavors. Give these bite-sized appetizers a try!

    1 large potato (scrubbed – not peeled yet)
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    1 small onion (chopped fine)
    1/2 jalapeño pepper (remove seeds – chop fine)
    2 teaspoons fresh ginger (grated
    1 clove garlic (minced)
    1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
    1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 plum tomato (seeded and chopped fine)
    1/4 cup frozen green peas
    2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (chopped)
    1/4 cup vegetable stock (if needed)
    1 (17 ¼ -ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets (thawed)

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    Boil potato in the skin for 8 – 10 minutes. It is important not to overcook the potato or the consistency will be mushy. Drain liquid, wash under cool water and when potato is cool to the touch, peel and dice into ½-inch cubes.

    In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Add onion and cook until soft, about 3-4 minutes, then add jalapeño, ginger, garlic, coriander seeds, curry powder, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the potatoes, plum tomato, peas, and cilantro and cook another minute. If the filling seems too thick, add a tablespoon or two of vegetable stock. Remove from the heat and let cool.

    On a lightly floured surface, unroll both sheets of dough. Cut each sheet into 9 rectangles, so you have 18 total rectangles.

    Spoon 1 teaspoon of the potato filling onto the middle of each rectangle and fold up, bringing the four points up to each other, then pinching at the seams to form a small pyramid and transfer to a baking sheet.

    Bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve while still warm with my Ojai Green Sauce and an IPA of your choice.

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