Samosas for Esplanade Day (A Simple Recipe for the Novice Chef)

My father was a very active member of the community at Palmerston North (New Zealand). He was a member of the Rose Society, had acted as president of the cultural society three times over, and was always involved in fund-raising events for the local Islamic Center. In retrospect, his social life has definitely been more varied and meaningful than mine.

On 21st February, Palmerston North held its annual Esplanade Day at the very popular grounds of the Esplanade. Here, small businesses and communities take up stalls selling all kinds of nifty, often handmade items, at exceptionally good prices. A makeshift stage is set up with live music and local entertainment, and members of the Islamic Center also put up a stall here to raise funds for the upkeep of the center’s needs. 

My father used to single-handedly make a large batch of 50 potato-filled samosas, each crafted in exceptionally precise pointy-pyramid shapes. In his last days, he reminded me of Esplanade Day coming up, and I promised to do it on his behalf this time round. He teased me, saying people will complain mine were not as good as his. I never got his exact recipe, but hey! I didn’t get any complaints either 🙂 The samosas sold pretty well that day. Here is my recipe:

Tezzy’s Esplanade Day Samosa Special (Makes approximately 20)

samosa recipe

For the Dough:

  • 3 cups flour
  • Salt
  • Kalonji (black onion seeds)
  • Oil (canola or sunflower)

To Make the Dough:

  1. Sieve together the flour and salt.
  2. Add a pinch of kalonji, and mix through.
  3. Add enough oil to the flour mixture to moisten. The consistency should look like wet sand.
  4. Now add enough warm water to knead into a smooth dough. Add extra flour if needed to make it pliable.
  5. Cover, and set aside.

For the Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Half an onion, finely chopped
  • 2 potatoes, cubed
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • A few sprigs of fresh coriander, finely chopped

To Make the Filling:

  1. Heat the oil, and add the mustard seeds.
  2. When the seeds start to splutter, add the chopped onions and saute till translucent.
  3. Add the green chilies followed by the potatoes, and stir-fry.
  4. Add all the powdered spices and mix well.
  5. Cover and put on medium-low heat till the potatoes are cooked through.
  6. Toss in freshly chopped coriander.

To Make the Samosas:

  1. Divide the dough into 10 balls.
  2. Roll out each ball into an even round shape, and cut in half.
  3. Roll the half-circle (curved side out) to form a cone.
  4. Stuff the cone with the potato mixture.
  5. Securely pinch the edges of the pastry together to ensure the stuffing cannot leak out.
  6. Heat oil in a deep-fryer. When the oil starts to get hot, reduce heat to low.
  7. Deep-fry the samosas till the crust turns a beautifully pale golden-brown.
  8. Drain on paper napkins.
  9. Serve hot with your favorite sauce (my personal favorite is tamarind sauce!).
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