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Monday, June 28, 2010


Even if you don't like Indian food -- you will like samosas, a crunchy potato filled pastry of YUM!

Usually, you make the pastry dough from scratch as well, and fry the samosas, which cooks the dough to crispiness. But as I've said before, you can make really great Indian food without actually using as much oil as our grandmothers are known to do. I wanted to bake the samosas and if I did that I need something that crisps up in the oven.

When I initially tested this recipe, I used phyllo dough thinking the crispiness of a spanikopita could be replicated. What I learned however, was that I hate working with phyllo dough, it dries too quickly, eek! So I think working with puff pastry may be better -- or trying the homemade dough and frying it.

So although the pictures for this don't show the actual end result, I was enjoying them so much I forgot to take a picture, I'm sure I will eventually make these again, and I'll add a picture then!

SAMOSAS, makes 32--


pastry: puff pastry or phyllo for baking.
or for frying:
  • 7.5 cups flour 
  • 1 tbsp. salt 
  • 3/4 cup clarified butter or ghee, melted (use vegetable shortening or oil for vegan variation) 
  • hot water

  • 3 medium-sized potatoes, boiled and peeled
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 cup of carrots, chopped finely
  • 1 cup of onions, chopped finely
  • 2 tsp. of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp of turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp of cumin powder
  • 1 tsp of coriander powder
  • 1 tsp of garam masala
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp of chili powder
  • 1/4 cup of oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 3 tbsp of chopped cilantro

  1. Sift flour and salt into a bowl, then stir in melted ghee. Add 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of hot water gradually, tossing and stirring, to make a dough. 
  2. Knead for 2 minutes, then chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling. If using a food processor, combine flour and salt in processor bowl. Pour in ghee and blend to combine. With processor running at medium speed, stream in the hot water, then process an additional 15 - 20 seconds. Remove from processor, form into a ball, and chill while you prepare the filling.
  3. In a medium skillet, saute onions, carrots, peas and ginger in tsp of oil over medium heat until onions are translucent.
  4. In a separate bowl, mash the cooked potatoes with the spices and sauteed veggies. Add oil or ghee, salt and cilantro and mixed thoroughly
  5. If you're using puff pastry/phyllo follow care instructions on package and create square pieces to put filling in. The samosas will be flat triangles rather than 3D triangles. Or if using pastry follow directions below.
  6. Divide the dough into 16 equal balls. The easiest way is to keep halving the dough until you have 16 pieces (you'll divide the dough 4 times total). Roll or pat each ball into a 7-inch disc. Cut each disk in half. Roll each half into a cone, overlapping the edges and pinching or wetting to seal. Stuff the cone with a big spoonful or two of filling, then pinch the open end closed (wetting if necessary), forming a puffy triangle. 
  7. Chill finished samosas and continue until you've used all the dough.  
  8. In a wok or large sauce pan, heat several inches of oil to 350, or until a cube of bread browns in 40 seconds. Fry samosas, 3 - 6 at a time, until golden, blistered, and crisp, about 3 - 4 minutes, turning them over halfway through frying. Remove with tongs, drain on paper towels, and continue until all samosas are fried. May be held in a warm (250-degree) oven while you cook all the batches. 
Serve with tamarind chutney.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Coconut Green Beans

Every so often when growing up in an Indian home, there's just not enough time to stew up something - so simple recipes become a way to satisfy the flavors without a lot of work.

One of these recipes is Coconut Green Beans. Basically it's a bag of frozen green beans with shredded coconut and other spices and takes no time to make.


  • 1 bag of frozen green beans, thawed
  • 1/4 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tbsp. of oil

  1. Add oil to a pan over medium high heat.
  2. Add shredded coconut and beans and saute for 7 to 10 mins.
  3. Add salt and pepper

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Indian Mac and Cheese (Masala Mac)

So, I started a new job in the Washington, D.C. area and moved out of New York City, so I'm officially on a mission to find good Indian grocery stores in the area and good Indian food.

But when I went back to NYC for some work training, I got a chance to finally try something I really wanted to eat the entire time I was in the city - masala mac and cheese from S'Mac in the East Village.

It's my favorite guilty pleasure with Indian spices, how can I resist? - or you for that matter.

So I decided I would try to create my own recipe.

  • 1 pound of macaroni, cooked in salted water, drained (use directions on box)
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded gruyere or provolone
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 tbsp. of butter
  • 2 tbsp. of flour
  • 2 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of coriander
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric
  • 1/2 of red chili or cayenne
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
  • oil spray
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a medium pot over medium heat, melt butter and add flour to it. Blend to make a roux. 
  2. Add milk to mixture and heat through. Try not to boil it, so stir regularly.
  3. Slowly add cheeses. Each time you add some stir it in until it it's melted through.
  4. Add spices - cumin, coriander, garlic, onion, turmeric and chili.
  5. Add cilantro to the mix and add cooked pasta.
  6. Taste mixture and add salt and pepper as needed.
  7. Place the entire pot of mac in cheese in a brownie pan or casserole dish that has been sprayed with oil.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 mins. covered. Uncover and baked for an additional 10 minutes until bubbly.

To find more info on S'Mac go to: