I’m a real dud when it comes to wrapping samosas. I blame it on my questionable art and craft skills and lack of samosa-making experience of course. This is also the reason you don’t see Belly Over Mind swarming with great dim sum recipes come Chinese New Year. If I had even a fraction of the skill-set and resilience that goes into wrapping these delicate, at-times swanlike parcels, I’d give up my adrenaline pumping home-cook life and turn into an artisanal dimsum and tea peddler. But since that’s not happening anytime soon, I’m presently samosa training under the watchful eye of my sensei mother whose repeated “tsks” at my incompetence are starting to get mildly annoying now.
A few things you should know about your samosa pattis(wrappers):
-If you bought it cold or chilled, it should thaw before you get on with wrapping.
-A wet muslin cloth should cover the unwrapped pile of samosa pattis as you attend to each one. We do this so that the pattis don’t dry out.
-A loose but still sticky slurry of cornflour and water is generally used as glue to seal your samosas.
-If your samosas pattis crack as you fold them, you should discard them, because they won’t fry well. Pick the freshest samosa patti you can find at your local grocery store. If you’re buying a frozen packet, check with the store owner as well as the manufacturing date on the product.
Once you’ve brought a packet home, thawed it and are ready with a wet muslin cloth, as well as the slurry of cornflour and water, onto the folding. To fold the samosas, lay one rectangular sheet before you and starting from the top right corner, fold the side of the samosa patti inward to form as close to an equilateral triangle as possible. Secure the triangle in place by glueing the corner with a bit of the slurry. Next, fold the triangle inwards again onto the remaining stretch of patti till you have a cone. Lift the cone and add the filling inside it. The flap at the base of the cone should then be folded over to seal. Glue the remaining left corners of the patti and again roll the filled triangular cone a final time inwards and fold over the little bit of flap to seal using a bit more slurry. For visual aid, watch this super helpful video by Rubina Asif
Green Peas, Feta, Mint and Za’atar Samosas
Yield 18-22 samosas
Keep the wrapped samosas covered with a muslin cloth to avoid them from drying out. You can then either bake these in an oven or proceed to deep-fry/air-fry the samosas.
Feta 200g (I used Casa Del Cheese’s Feta)
Frozen or freshly shelled peas 200g
Butter 1 tbsp
Vegetable oil 1 tbsp
Onion 1 large, thinly sliced
Salt a pinch, plus more for adjusting at the end
Chives or green garlic shoots 1 small bunch, finely chopped
Mint a large handful, leaves picked, chopped
Za’atar 2 tsp
Pepper 1/2 tsp
Samosa pattis 18-22, covered with a wet muslin cloth
Cornflour and water slurry made with one part cornflour to three parts water
Begin by blanching the peas in boiling water for a minute and refreshing them under cold water to retain their colour. Let this stand till you get on with he rest of the filling.
In a medium-sized kadai or a saucepan, add the butter and vegetable oil and let this get hot. Add in the onions and saute over medium-high heat for a minute. Then add a pinch of salt and reduce the heat to a medium-low and let the onions cook till they are a deep dark brown, but not burnt. You must stir the onions every now and then so that they don’t stick.
Once the onions have caramelised, add in the blanched peas, the green garlic or chive shoots, the za’aatar, pepper and toss together over the heat for a minute or two for the flavours to combine.
Take this off the heat, crumble over the feta and the mint and toss. The residual heat is enough for the mint and feat to combine with the filling. Taste for salt and set aside.
Fill the samosa pattis as per the instructions given above the recipe and set aside. Fill a medium kadai or a wok with enough vegetable oil for deep-frying. Let the oil get hot enough to deep-fry over a medium-high to high heat. You can check how hot the oil is by dropping a small bit of samosa patti trimming or bread into the oil to check it. It should not colour immediately, but rather take 15-20 seconds to evenly colour and turn golden brown.
When the optimum heat has been reached, maintain the heat by lowering the flame to a medium and proceed to fry the samosas 2-3 at a time being watchful of them and using a slotted spoon to carefully prod them or drain them from the oil onto paper towels.
Alternately you can bake these samosas too at a high temperature (180-200 degrees) by brushing them with a bit of grease and baking them for 10-15 minutes or till crisp and evenly golden. Serve immediately.