Although starting and running this food blog has been so much, I’m like a kid at christmas, fun (I get to make and eat food all the time, I mean, who wouldn’t like that?) it’s a full time job in its own right so getting free time has been scant the past few months.
So I was excited when I left the blog, and all other web based activities, behind for an afternoon and enjoyed some time with friends. The weather was like a summer’s day and we lazed about in Sydney’s Darling Harbour; soaking up the sun by the water, wondering if we could commandeer one of the many yachts berthed nearby, and generally taking advantage of Happy Hour drinks.
It was a great afternoon but there was a downer and, you guessed it, it took the form of Food….
Our culinary adventure started off great. Incredible, actually. We met at a fantastic Thai restaurant (anyone in, near or travelling to Sydney, Australia, should definitely try out @ Bangkok, the best Thai food I’ve had outside of Thailand). Since two of my friends are Thai ,the eating-at-a-Thai-restaurant experience was awesome; I didn’t get to order my own food, they ordered for me, and food was spooned onto my plate for fear I would waste away.
We moved on from the restaurant to a bar and, as evening approached and the munchies crept up, the assortment of bar snacks seemed appetising; especially the thick cut potato wedges which were described with such elaboration that I was drooling just reading about them.
Spoiler Alert: They were not like the description; it was cold-bloodied, unashamed false advertising. How do these people sleep at night?
In fact they were the opposite. They were generic, supermarket-bought, frozen potato wedges that had been thrown into a deep fryer before loaded onto a plate with a dollop of sour cream. They were dull to look at and dull to eat.
Better yet…. They cost $15! (That’s $10US/£7/ €7.80 at current exchange rates in case you were wondering) For a plate of wedges!
I know we were in Darling Harbour, a major food/ drink/ tourist/ you-need-money-to-burn place of the city, but c’mon…….
I think that’s one of the reasons I became interested in making food from scratch; money. I was once a student living the 2 minute/ pot noodle diet and never quite had the money to go out for a meal, let alone throw away $15 on wedges! IT was then I found I could make my own, better tasting and less expensive, noodles. It soon became my thing and, now, I have a blog all about it.
Making your own from-scratch-food is often cost effective and cheaper than buying in a restaurant or supermarket. But, even if it costs a little more, at least you know what is actually going into your next meal (ten teaspoons of sugar anyone? no? Preservatives?). And, if you enjoy the act of cooking, making something from scratch is enjoyable, especially when you can dazzle family and friends after proclaiming “ I made this myself”. Cue the gasps of awe and surprise and the fragile ego and pride, for this Nude Food nerd anyway, is restored ?
Alright, so you can make your cakes and your pestos from scratch but, hang on a minute, what about your very own Samosas. Yeah, you know, those little deep fried pastries filled with curried vegetables. Oh yeah! ???❤️
You may have not ever paid $15 for a samosa, and those from the little family-run Indian restaurant (the best kind of restaurant I may add) down the street are amazing, but making them yourself is just as good, if not better
I made these little beauties this week and not only are they incredibly easy (the pastry folding and filling is a little tricky but, even if you are not a pastry origami expert, you’ll be fine) but they taste great too.
I mean restaurant quality great.?
I’ve kept things simple by using my Quick and Easy Indian Style Curry Recipe as a base for these samosas so all you need to do is add some vegetables and make the pastry . The Pastry has been adapted from the wonderful Veg Recipes of India which also includes a great video showing you how to fold and fill the pastry pockets:
You can deep fry these or, should you not be the deep frying sort of person, these samosas also cook wonderfully in the oven. Serve them hot with some traditional Indian condiments such as mint raita or a mango chutney (yes, they are on the list of things to make.)
Then get ready for light crispy pastry to break apart in flakes, with a taste explosion of vegetable filling to come oozing out.
It may not be that expensive to buy Samosas in a restaurant but, when you’re bringing the essence of an Indian Food Market into your own home, it really is not about the money.
Recipe for the Pastry adapted from Veg Recipes of India
- FOR THE FILLING
- Quick and Easy Indian Style Curry Base (see link above)
- 3 Medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into small 1cm cubes
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup Cauliflower florets
- 2 medium carrots, cut into 1cm pieces
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamon (optional)
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
- 2 tbsp of water of coconut milk
- Oil for frying
- FOR THE PASTRY
- 2 Cups all purpose flour
- 6Tbsp vegetable/ olive/ coconut
- 6Tbsp Water
- Boil the potatoes, peas and cauliflower in water until cooked.
- Prepare the curry base, adding the cardamon and cinnamon with the other spices if using. Once the spices have become fragrant, adde the cooked vegetables and the water or coconut milk. Using a wooden spoon or potato masher, coarsely mash the vegetables, and mix thoroughly with the curry base. You should end up with a chunky mashed potato-like concoction.
- To make the pastry: Mix together the flour, oil and water until it forms a dough adding more flour or water as necessary. Knead for a few minutes until it becomes soft and elastic. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel, and allow to stand for 30 – 40 minutes.
- After 40 minutes divide the dough – roughly, of course – into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a disc about 6 inches in diameter (no need to get a measuring tape out, it doesn’t have to be exact)
- Cut the pastry disc in half and, by dipping you fingers in water, wet around the edges. Take one of the halves and fold into a cone. Lightly pinch the overlapping layers so they seal. Now you have a pocket for the filling. Each pocket can fit around 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons of the potato filling. Spoon into the pocket, fold over the open end and seal by pinching lightly with your fingers.
- For Cooking: You can cook these in oil heated to around 180°C (either in a deep fryer or a pan filled with another roil to submerge the samosas completely) for between 5 and 8 minutes. Or you can place them in a preheated (180°C/ 350°F) oven for 10 – 15 minutes or until browned and cooked through