Monday, April 13, 2015

Bread Fruit Samosa(Punjabi Style)

Recipe based on:

Samosa is a wonderful snack, tasty and energising, at the same time filling. There was a time when we youngsters used to go to some cozy restaurant and order samosa, the first alternative snack that came to our mind apart from Idli, Masala Dosa, Ambade, Goli Baje or Buns.
My memory travels back in time to October 1994, when I was walking up the road from Dharamshala to Bhagsunag Falls with Meena. We met Prof. A. J. Singh, writer on Tibetology and Dr. B. C. Khanna, Psychiatrist, Zonal Hospital Dharamshala on the way, who self introduced themselves and became our friends. The next afternoon we were supposed to meet them at McLeod Ganj, and they were to take us on a trek of Jogibara Road and meet some Tibetans, also some trekking guides. When we met them little around 2:00 p.m., I asked them whether they had lunch. Prof. Singh said, they had some samosas and they were quite filling. We in fact had sumptuous lunch at a Tibetan restaurant and were surprised to hear that samosas can be eaten in lieu of lunch! Later, in Dharamshala as well as at other places, we skipped lunch and had fantastic samosas that they served with some chutney and fried green chillies. They were inexpensive and filling too. Samosa chaat or samosas with ragda topped with chutneys used to be my favourite for dinner later on in Mangaluru at times when I got bored with usual dinner at restaurants, especially when Meena was away.

Punjabis are experts in making samosas. I have tasted some of the best Punjabi samosas in Mumbai, Dalhi, Amritsar, Dalhousie, Dharamshala, Manali, Shimla, Jammu and Srinagar. We also get excellent samosas in Bengaluru and Mangaluru. In the Seventies, Madhuvan drive-in and Komal's Cream Parlour used to make the best samosas in Mangaluru. Balwant's Krishna Chaat and Suruchi Fast Food in Bejai(Now closed) also had very good samosas. Rasadhara juices and chats also makes them well. Balli's samosas are mostly made the local way in half moon fold but the outer cover is perfect. These days, we can find the perfect samosas with both stuffing and outer cover authentic, at Ideal Cafe, Pabbas and Ideal Cream Parlours.

My mother once tried to make samosas at home following recipe dictated by a family friend in the early Seventies. That turned out a disaster. The outer cover was rubbery and the stuffing had beans, carrots, cauliflower, peas and some other ingredients, making the samosas taste very South Indian! We have not attempted to make samosas till the mid Nineties. Later we made them once or twice following recipe from books and magazines, but they were far from being authentic. I have also found samosas at some of the leading restaurants here in Mangaluru not upto the mark. 

The other day when I was reminiscing over the days spent  during my travels in the North, I found very good recipe for Punjabi Samosas on Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's channel as presented by Chef Harpal. He says, outer cover dough for making samosa should consist of one part ghee or oil mixed into 5 parts of refined flour(Maida). Then the cover becomes very crumbly and crisp, just right. Adding spices as per his recipe seems to make the samosas very authentic but I reduced the spices a bit, skipped couple of ingredients and added asafotoeda, since I made the samosas with Bread Fruit/Deevi Gujje/Jeev Gujje/Jeev Kadgi which causes flatulence. 
Bread Fruit is a delicacy and now is the season. We make various dishes, fried snacks and curries with it, but I made samosas with bread fruit for the first time. We had fresh Bread Fruit sent from Honnavar by my classmate and friend Manjeshwar Madhav Bhat. So my job was fairly easy, following Chef Harpal's recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor's channel and using the bread fruit sent from Honavar. 

I pressure cooked big pieces of the bread fruit and smashed them. Actually you can chop the bread fruit into tiny bits and stir fry with the spices and fresh green peas to make the inner filling. Also added cashew bits for added taste. Ghee is essential to make the outer cover crisp, crumbly and full of aroma.

Please follow the recipe meticulously, for a slight mistake can cause the samosas to break or absorb excess oil. You must control the temperature of the oil at medium flame so that samosas fry under slow heat for at least 5 minutes as per Chef Harpal's instructions. Eat these with green coriander mint chutney and ketchup or with sweet tangy and spicy date tamarind chutney. They just crumble and melt in your mouth. We had date tamarind chutney given by our friend Uma Shenoi and my job was further easy while tasting the samosas. Happy cooking and eating some of the world's most delicious samosas!

For the Outer Covering:
Refined Flour(Maida) - 2 cups
Salt - 3/4 Tsp
Caraway Seeds(Oama/Ajwain) - 1/2 Tsp
Ghee - 40 ml(Or 3 Tbsp)
Water - 60 ml(Approximately)

For the Stuffing:
Bread Fruit(Deevi Gujje/Jeev Kadgi) - 1/2 or approximately 400 Gms
Salt - 1/2 Tsp or to taste
Fresh Green Peas(Or frozen) - 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds - 1 Tsp
Cashewnut Bits - A handful
Finely chopped Ginger - 1 Tsp
Finely chopped Green chillies - 1 Tsp
Asafotoeda Powder(Optional) - 1/4 Tsp
Red Chilli Powder(Or Kashmiri Chilli Powder) - 1 Tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 3/4 Tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 Tsp
Amchur Powder(Dry Mango Powder) - 1 Tsp(or 1 Tsp lemon juice)
Ghee - 1 Tsp
Refined Oil - Sufficient for deep frying
Sift flour, add salt, caraway seeds and mix well.
Add ghee and mix into the flour with your fingers to form crumbs.
Add water little by little and knead the dough loosely until you get a stiff but pliable dough.
Cover the dough with a cloth for 20-30 mins at room temperature.
In the meanwhile, shave off the outer skin of bread fruit.
Remove the center core and cut the bread fruit into big pieces.
Place in a bowl, sprinkle little salt and pressure cook without adding water for 2 minutes.
Remove, chop and lightly mash the cooked bread fruit and keep aside.
Heat 1 tsp ghee in a pan.
Add cumin seeds and allow them to crackle. 
Add cashewnut bits and lightly fry them. 
Add chopped chillies and ginger, fry for 1 minute.
Add the green peas and stir fry till they become tender.
Ad asafotoeda powder and mix.
Add salt to taste and mix well.
Now add the mashed bread fruit, chilli powder, garam masala powder, amchur powder and coriander powder.
If necessary, sprinkle some water and allow the ingredients to blend well.
Switch off the flame and allow the stuffing to cool down.
Heat oil in a kadai, set the flame to medium or low, as soon as the oil is heated.
Take the dough and knead it well.
Make 8 lemon size balls.
Apply little oil on the rolling board.
Flatten each ball of dough and roll into thin oblong chapatis, about 8 inches in size.
Take care not to roll too thin or too thick chapatis, as samosas may either break or become too hard.
Cut the chapati into two halves.
Make a conical pocket by bringing the cut side edges together, overlapping them and sealing them together.
If necessary apply little water to seal the edges.
Stuff the cone with two teaspoonful of the stuffing, make a pleat on the outer edge on one end, bring the other end over it and fuse the edge to seal the cone.
For easy reference, video by Chef Harpal has been embedded in the end of this recipe.
Now the samosas resemble small pyramids.
Make 16 samosas like this and drop 2-3 samosas at a time in medium hot oil.
The samosas release bubbles and slowly start to fry.
Allow one side to fry for 2 minutes and turn them over. 
Fry on the other side for another 2 minutes and turn them over, to evenly fry the third side.
Once they are crisp and golden, transfer them to a colander lined with kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.
Allow to cool down for 2-3 minutes and then serve with chutney and ketchup as per your choice.
You may make authentic Punjabi samosas with 400 Gm potatoes boiled, peeled and smashed, instead of bread fruit.
You can also serve then with ragda or cooked spiced white peas, sweet and spicy chutneys topped over.
You may also shallow fry slit green chillies in oil, sprinkled with salt and serve them along with the samosas like they do in North India.
Keep the samosas in the fridge for later frying. 
You can also put them in Ziploc bags and freeze them for a month or more.
Samosa stuffing can also be used to make sandwich, bonda or stuffed paratha.
Chef Harpal shows how to make Punjabi Samosa


Apsara Mishra said...

Very nice article. I loved your Punjabi Samosa Recipe . Hey instead of aloo can I use something else?

You are a great chef. It can be eaten up with homemade tomato chutney?

Rajanikanth Shenoy, Kudpi said...

Instead of aloo try using raw plantain.

Yes. You can make home made tomato chutney and enjoy your samosas.


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