There is nothing bland about it!
Hospitality is a big part of Pakistani culture. Guests are envisioned a blessing for the home and making sure that they are comfortable and feel welcomed is an important part of the culture. Growing up I learned that offering just a cup of tea/coffee to guests without any snacks is considered rather rude. If I ever do that, my mom will probably say, “who raised you, wolves?”
Several times a week we will have friends and/or family visit, sometimes around 10-11 a.m. to visit my mom and sometimes in the evening around 5 or 5:30 p.m. which is considered tea-time. My parents had their own routine of having tea with a couple of snacks in the back lawn. The tea trolley will be filled with hot tea in a teapot, milk, sugar and a couple of snacks, for example, samosas and something sweet. Samosas are not only served in the evening with tea but also is a staple on the dining table at any gathering and/or event with numerous other appetizers.
Samosas are a homemade pastry filled with spicy potatoes or spicy ground beef, deep fried and then served with a chutney, which is a cilantro, yogurt or mint sauce.
I learned to make the samosas because my oldest brother Sohail Siddiqui loved them, and I wanted to make him happy.
Samosas have been a staple in our household for many years now, it is very heartwarming to see my three-year-old grandson loves it and asks for it often. I feel that is the power of food, it carries the traditions through generations if we allow ourselves to cherish the memories and carry them through our lives.
A few years ago, I was tickled to see Wisconsin State Journal’s article with the headline: ‘Samosa Queen’. I have taught numerous samosa-making classes over the past many years. It is a pleasure to see everyone enjoying making this traditional snack and having fun doing it.
Hope you have fun trying this recipe and flavors. Looking forward to bringing more fun flavors and food for thought next time!
Samosa-Deep Fried Pastry Stuffed with Spicy Potatoes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon kalonji (nigella seeds)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
¼ cup warm water
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon whole cumin
3 medium potatoes
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup cilantro, chopped
3 cups cooking oil for frying
In a medium bowl, mix flour, salt, kalonji and oil until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Pour in water to make a smooth dough. Pat into a ball. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth. Return to the bowl, cover and set aside.
Boil potatoes until soft, take them out of the boiling water and allow them to cool. Peel the skin and mash the potatoes while keeping some texture. Add all spices and cilantro. Mix well.
Divide dough into 15 equal portions. Roll portions into balls, roll the balls into about six-inch circles. Cut each circle in half. Form semicircles into cones. Fill cones with equal portions of the potato mixture. Seal the cones.
Heat oil in a large deep skillet. Carefully lower cones into preheated oil a few at a time. Fry until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, drain on paper towels. Serve warm with yogurt or cilantro sauce.
makes 24-30 samosas
-Huma Siddiqui-Seitz is an entrepreneur, published author, cooking class instructor and owner of White Jasmine.