Monday, August 23, 2010
Rabia, Helen's friend, sent Helen her beef samosa recipe. Since Helen only has in her possession a pan, I was the one to test out the recipe. Let me tell you, it's awesome! I had a few hiccups with the wraps but that was entirely ... no one's fault.
In her recipe, Rabia was using 3 lbs of ground beef. I imagine 3 lbs of beef to yield enough samosas to feed a troop so I downsized mine to 1.14 lbs. Yeah, that was what it said on the package.
So, first, grab about 1 1/2" of a ginger root. I actually went to the store, snapped off 1 1/2" of ginger and then bought 1 1/2" of ginger. I think it came out to be something like 25 cents. There is no need for me to buy a giant piece of ginger and have it dry up in my fridge.
Peel, slice, and mince the ginger. Do the same to 3 cloves of garlic. Sorry for not having a picture there. I did took several photos, but I do not have steady hands, they all came out ugly as...an unshaven pirate lost at seas for 20 years. My sister would make this post so much prettier.
Throw the garlic and ginger into a food processor, in my case, it was a minichopper, and pulse until you get a paste. I wasn't able to get mine into a paste, but it was good enough for moi! Note, if you do not want to suffer this, buy some garlic-ginger paste at the store. I never like to do things the easy way.
When that is done, chop 1/2 of an onion. Throw it into a hot pan with some oil and cook until the onions start to brown.
Add your beef. Stir around often until they are brown.
Dump in the garlic-ginger "paste." But do save about 1 tablespoon for the chutney.
To that, add 1 tablespoon of garam masala, 1 teaspoon of coriander powder (I used the whole seeds), 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of red chili powder (more if you like things spiceh). Mix well. Taste and turn off the heat.
Now, to the wrapping portion.
But first, a little side story. I got spring roll wraps just like Rabia said.
Except, there must've been a leak in the bag because the wraps were all dried up and brittle by the time I used it; which was after I finished eating my dinner. I had to abandoned the whole bag and get another bag.
Only this time, I went to Wholes Food and they only have the wonton wrapper type (a bit thicker than the spring roll wraps). Except they also said it's "great for spring rolls." Whatever, right? I'm desperate. If you guys ever read Julie Powell's blog about her following through Julia Child's recipes for a whole year, you'll see this frustration and desperation a lot. You'll also see that her long day of work and long hours of cooking always cause her to eat dinner at 10:30 pm. That is what sometimes happen to me. Yeah, Julie Powell, I feel a connection with you! For those of you who are lazy and hate reading, there's a movie now. Don't tell me who you are because I'll lose a little respect for you...
Anyhoo, back to the current subject.
Cut the square wrap diagonally so you'll get a triangle. Look at the triangle, you will have a left corner, top corner, and right corner. You will also have the left side (between the left corner and the top corner), the right side (between the top corner and the right corner), and the base or bottom side. Dip your finger into the water and draw a straight line from the top corner (apex) down to the center of the base. Basically, you are drawing the height of the triangle. Remember geometry?
Grab the left corner and bring it up to the top corner.
Now grab the new left corner and bring it over to the center of the right side. Then lift the right corner and fold it over so that you have a much smaller triangle now. Moist the last edge with some water to seal.
Open up the triangle and hold it up like a cone.
Fill the cone up 3/4 of the way up with the beef filling.
Moist the edge again and press down to seal. After you do a couple you'll get the hang of it and become an expert. Remember in the movie Bend It Like Beckham, it was Pinky's wedding and they were sitting around making food? I pretended that I was surrounded by mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and sisters-in-law folding and stuff samosas while gossiping like they were doing in the movie, too. Except I talked to myself...
Heat up some vegetable oil in a pan, about 2" deep to fry your samosas. Stick your chopsticks into the oil, when you see tiny bubbles starting to form when you stick in your chopsticks, the oil is at the right temperature. After throwing in your first few samosas, turn down the heat so that the bubbles only form around the samosas but you don't have over boiling oil. This is a trick that I learned from my mom who learned it from my grandma, so it's totally legit. My mom said that it helps keep the wrappings from coming loose and burn while the inside is still uncooked, in the case of eggrolls.
Are you ready for the chutney?
I had there a bit more than a cup of mint leaves and about 3/4 cup of cilantro.
I also had two green chilies all sliced up and ready for action.
I sent it all choppin' with the tablespoon of garlic-ginger paste I saved from before and the juice of 1/3 of a lemon.
Six ounces of plain yogurt was added and pulsed 5 seconds to get that thing above. I didn't add any extra salt and it was still uber delicious. How delicious you say? This was Brendan's review of the chutney "that chutney is sooooo good too - what's in it? heaven?" Yeah, that was a quote!
This reminds me of a conversation with Hiten.
Me: What exactly is in a samosa chutney?
Hiten: Yogurt and green.
Me: What is the green?
Hiten: I don't know what it's called in English but I know that it's green.
Nur (Hiten's better half): He meant cilantro!
Best food convo ever!
Here's the low down:
Beef Samosas and Mint Chutney
1 lbs ground beef (or ground lamb)
1/2 onion - minced
1 1/2" ginger
3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon coriander powder
red chili powder
1 cup mint leaves
3/4 cup cilantro
6 oz plain yogurt
1 package spring roll wraps
oil for frying
Make a garlic-ginger paste by pulsing the garlic and ginger in a food processor.
Brown chopped onions in a pan with some oil.
Add beef to pan with onions and stir well until beef is brown.
Add the garlic-ginger paste to beef. Save about 1 tablespoon for the chutney.
Stir in the garam masala, coriander powder, salt, and red chili powder to taste. Turn off heat.
Follow instructions above to fold the spring roll wrapper to form a cone.
Spoon beef filling into cone.
Seal cone with some water.
Heat up about 2" of vegetable oil and deep fry samosas until golden.
To make the chutney:
Combine the mint, cilantro, green chilies, and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse until all is chopped.
Add the yogurt and pulse a couple of time to mix well.
Add salt to taste.