I couldn't resist trying the second recipe Nupur suggested for From Fried to Favourite this month. I've never fried samosas, only baked them, but I've had the fried ones in restaurants plenty of times. The baked ones that I've made at home have been good, but I always felt that there was a lot of room for improvement so I set out to get them right this time.
First, no one at my house likes green peas much, so I replaced them with chickpeas and broke up the chickpeas in the food processor for a smoother filling. Second, after cooking the aromatics and spices I pureed them in the food processor. (I actually doubled those ingredients and put half the puree in the freezer for a later recipe. I'll write more about that later if it works out the way I hope.) Finally, I didn't just bake them, I used a dough made from 100% whole grain flours. Half of it was brown rice flour, which gives the wrapper a light crispness where it's thin on the sides of the samosa, and a fluffy texture like a muffin in the corners where it's thicker. This dough was surprisingly easy to work with, too. This means I could make the samosas very large. Large samosas have a greater filling to dough ratio and they're easier to put together.
The challenge was in the taste test. Would they be as fantastic as I hoped or just so-so? I am happy to report that these taste amazing. They were even better that I was wishing for.
I am also sending these to Susan's My Legume Love Affair, hosted this month by Priya of Mharo Rajasthan's Recipes.
Baked Samosas with Chickpeas
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup water
Combine pastry flour, rice flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add canola oil and stir well with a fork until oil is distributed evenly. Add the water. Form dough into a ball and then knead until the dough is no longer crumbly, about 3 minutes. Form back into a ball, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup onion, finely diced
1 inch piece ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely diced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon curry leaf powder (or additional garam masala)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne or to taste
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1-1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
Juice of 1 lemon (omit if using curry leaf powder)
Heat oil in a large skillet. Cook onions until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add ginger, garlic and jalapeños and cook for 2 minutes. Add cumin seeds, salt, garam masala, curry leaf powder, and cayenne and cook for 1 minute. Transfer onion mixture to a food processor and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the processor once. Add chickpeas and pulse to break up the chickpeas, leaving the chickpeas a little bit chunky.
Wipe out the skillet and add the potatoes. Add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the potatoes. Bring the water to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until a fork-tender. Drain and mash with a potato masher until smooth and fluffy. Stir in onion and chickpea mixture. Stir in lemon juice if using (I didn't add any, as the curry leaf powder is tangy from tamarind.)
Putting them together
Preheat oven to 350 F. Oil a large baking sheet. Divide filling into 12 equal portions. Divide dough into 6 equal portions and form each portion into a ball.
Roll out one ball of dough into a 7-inch circle. Cut the circle in half. Form the half circle into a cone shape (just like making a little paper hat) and pinch the seam closed. Holding the cone point down with one hand, stuff a portion of filling gently into the point. Fold the extra dough over the filling. Place folded side down on the baking sheet and shape with your hands into a pyramid. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden.