Over the last year the cult of street food has really hit the mainstream. Potentially this is a very exciting road to go down. Anyone who has eaten dosa in Kerala, dal bhat in Nepal or roti canai in Malaysia, will tell you just how vibrant and delicious it can be. The most famous roadside snack is arguably the samosa. All too often made with filo pastry authentic samosa is made with a special pastry which brings them to a whole new level.
The pastry recipe below was given to me by my old colleague Raz when he worked at Inside Restaurant; I am sure he won’t mind me passing it on. Making the pastry is very easy; the tricky part is shaping and sealing the samosa. A little practise is required so don’t be surprised if it takes a few attempts before you get the hang of it. Take a semi-circle of pastry, moisten the straight edge with water, and fold in half so that the ends meet with a slight overlap. Press to seal and then seal the straight edge to form a cone. Carefully spoon in some mixture (don’t overfill), moisten the top edge and press to seal. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to set.
If you fancy taking the recipe one step further you could also make your own paneer; it sounds daunting but it’s actually incredibly straightforward. Heat 1 litre of milk until it starts to simmer, and then add 125g of yoghurt. Stir gently over a low heat until the mixture curdles. Pour into a very fine sieve (lined with muslin if you have it), cover and press gently under a weight to extract the whey. Refrigerate until the curd is set into a solid block.
Samosa are of course best eaten outside on the curb of a busy, freezing cold street, but if you want to bend the rules a little they are featuring on our blackboard menu at The Guildford Arms later this week. Of course we can’t call it street food as you can eat them at the bar, or sitting at a table with a pint, but if authenticity is very important to you, we will gladly make you eat them out on the road.
Paneer & Spinach Samosa
300g Plain Flour
2 pinches Salt
1 pinch Cumin Seeds
6 tablespoons Cold Water
- Process the flour with the butter & salt until it reaches a sandy texture. Add the cumin seeds & gradually pulse in water. Bring it together to form a ball, wrap & chill.
- Roll out until 5mm thick, and cut into 12cm circles, then cut these into semi-circles. Keeping them covered with a damp cloth as you work.
125g Paneer – crumbled or diced
1 small onion – finely diced
2 chilli – seeded & finely chopped
½ inch ginger – finely diced
1 clove garlic – chopped
2 tomatoes – chopped
4 handfuls baby spinach
3 teaspoon garam masala
Fresh coriander – roughly chopped
- Gently cook the onion, ginger, chilli & garlic in vegetable oil (or ghee) with a good pinch of salt until soft.
- Stir in the garam masala & cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes & saffron & cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add the spinach & cook until the mixture is relatively dry.
- Stir in the paneer, check the seasoning & add fresh coriander to taste.
- Leave to cool.
- Fill & shape the samosa as above.
- Cook at 190C until golden & crispy
- Serve with lemon wedges & raita.