Samosas may be the perfect food. These samosas in particular. Flakey crusts encase exquisitely spiced pea-potato filling, drizzled in chutney of perfectly balanced sweet-savory-heat. Even my dad was impressed.
Ginger Pea Samosa with Mint-Cilantro Chutney
1 1/2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
4 Tbs. butter, at room temperature
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, minced
1/2 c. shelled peas (fresh or thawed)
1" piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 small fresh hot green chile, stemmed seeded and minced
2 Tbs. fresh cilantro leaves, minced
2 medium waxy potatoes, boiled, drained, cooled, peeled, and cut into 1/4" cubes
salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds, toasted and crushed into powder
cayanne (a pinch)
1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice mixed with 1 1/2 tsp. anchoor (dried mango powder, found in indian markets); or else 1 Tbs. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground anardana (dried pomegranate seeds, also found in indian markets; optional)
3 1/2 c. firmly packed fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 c. firmly packed mint leaves
1-2 small fresh green chiles, stemmed
3 Tbs. lemon juice
3/4 c. plain full-fat yogurt
salt (to taste)
Vegetable oil (for deep frying)
1. For pastry: sift flour and salt, rub butter into flour until it resembles bread cumbs. Sprinkle in ~6 Tbs. warm water (1 Tb. at a time), mixing until dough ball forms, Transfer to floured surface, knead until supple (10-15 min). This will feel like a long time, but by kneading extensively, you develop the glutens in the pastry, rendering a flakey, tender crust. Oh god yes it is worth it. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill at least one hour, up to 24.
2. For the filling: Saute onions in oil until browned and fragrant (~8 min). Add peas, ginger, cilantro, chile, and 1 1/2 Tbs. water. Saute on medium for 4-5 min, adding extra water if mixture looks dry. Add spices, diced potato, and lemon-anchoor paste. Cook another 3-4 min. Salt to taste, set aside, and cool.
3. To fill pastries: break pastry into 12 round balls. Roll each ball into a circle, as thinly as possible. Cut circle into two half-moons. Wet cut edge of semicircle and fold two ends together, creating an ice cream cone shape. Spoon in filling and close third edge. Take care to make sure edges are sealed so they don't come open during frying.
4. For the chutney: Blend yogurt, lemon juice, mint, cilantro, and chile. Salt to taste.
5. To fry: pour oil in wok or frying pan to 2"-3" deep. Heat on high until a drop of water sputters on contact (~350 degrees?). Slide samosa in and fry in batches till browned on both sides. Let drain on paper towels 3-5 minutes before eating. Serve warm.
Proceed to food coma and subsequent bliss.