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Food

Samosas with Tamarind Sauce

When Sara and I lived in Burkina Faso, one of the ways we passed time while weeding our endless rice field was by coming up with “Top 5” lists.  The favorite was: If you could live off of only 5 foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?  Besides ice-cream of course, one of my top 5 was Indian samosas!

There are definitely some fantastic Indian options in Phnom Penh, but there are definitely no Indian joints in our small town.  So, if you are an Indian-food-lover like myself, these samosas are surprisingly easy to make.  I’ve had access to all these ingredients in both Africa and Asia, so here’s to hoping you can access them too : )

Samosa filling:

* Peel, cut up, and boil potatoes until soft.  Mash with a fork.

* Sauté chopped onions and garlic in butter or oil over very low heat, about 30 minutes.  Add spices and heat some more.  You can either use a store-bought curry spice mixture, or make your own combination (I use hot pepper, cumin, funegreek, coriander, black pepper, and turmeric).

* Add onion mixture to potatoes, plus salt, and fresh chopped cilantro/coriander leaves.  (I use a saw-tooth leaf we have here that tastes just like cilantro).    Keep taste-testing so that there is enough salt to bring out the full flavor of the spices!

* At this point, you can also add cooked peas to the potatoes.  However, I have yet to find some in my town, so I just stick with the super-spiced potatoes.

Making the Samosas:

Add just enough water to flour to form a stiff dough.  Roll golf-ball size pieces of dough into flat circles.  Cut the circles in half.  Place a heaping spoon-full of potato mixture in the middle of the dough piece, then wrap dough like this.  Pinch the ends shut by dipping your fingers in water and folding over the ends.  In Nepal I learned a fancy-shmancy technique for pinching samosas shut, but I’m horrible at it.  Please don’t judge my pinching technique in the photos above! : )

Baking/Frying

You can either deep-fry the samosas, but I usually bake them on a cookie sheet in the oven.  Either way is delicious!

Tamarind Dipping Sauce

Samosas are often served with either a mint or a tamarind dipping sauce.  Here are some instructions for making tamarind paste.  To the tamarind paste, I added some ketchup and palm sugar to make it a bit sweeter.

Posted by Daphne | Prey Veng, Cambodia

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