A few days ago, I visited Oxbow in Napa. Apparently it's been open since last December and I can't believe that I didn't know about it. Anyways, they have all kinds of speciality stores such as spices, wine, cheese, chocolate, tea, olive, meat, ice cream, bakery and so on. And it looked like it can expand more - meaning more stores may be opening in the future. I'm gonna have to start visiting there more often.
This time, I went there specifically to get some grains of paradise, which is a type of spice that's sort of like a combination of black pepper, coriander and cardamom. When I tried it, I first tasted the aromatic flavors of coriander and cardamom with some zest. Then later it shocked me with very peppery taste just like when you bite into a peppercorn - very rich in flavor. I loved it.
Even though I researched some cooking ideas, I had no idea what I was going to do with it at the time of my purchase. It's difficult to imagine a dish that's made with something you have never tasted, you know? But after I tasted one and as I was strolling around the market, I got some ideas - Samosas.
I took a couple of recipes to compare and also got some tips from an Indian friend.
Here's what I made:
Ingredients (makes 12-15):
1 c. AP flour
1/4 c. WW flour
1/4 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Vegetable oil (+3 c. for frying)
1/3 c. Warm Water
2 med Baking potatoes
1/4 c. Green peas
1 Fresh Green chili, finely minced
1/4 c. Fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/4 med Fresh onion, finely diced
1/4 tsp Garlic salt
1/4 tsp Curry powder
1/8 tsp Ground cumin
1/8 tsp Chili powder
1/8 tsp Garam masala
1/8 tsp Ground ginger
1 Tbsp Grains of paradise
In a large bowl, form a dough by mixing AP flour, WW flour, salt, vegetable oil and warm water. When the dough comes together, transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (add more flour if needed). Lightly flour a bowl, place the dough, cover with towel and let it rest for about 30 mins.
Wash potatoes, microwave for about 7 mins (high) or until soft to touch. Peel the skin, dice in small cubes. In a large bowl, mix all the filling ingredients. Set a side.
When the dough is ready, divide it into 6 equal portions. Form each pieces into balls. On floured surface, roll out each dough to about 6" diameter using rolling pin. Cut circle in half. Fold 1 corner of semicircle up and over middle. Fold second corner over to make triangle and pinch corners of triangles to seal. Leave rounded side open. Hold triangle in your hand with open rounded side up. Stuff the cone with filling mixture. Seal the rounded side by pinching with your fingers. Repeat the procedure with remaining dough and filling.
In a medium pot, heat vegetable oil to 350F. Fry each samosa for a few minutes or until golden brown. (You may need to turn to make sure both sides are cooked evenly.) Place them on a wire rack or on paper towel to drain excess oil.
Typically Indian samosas are served with yogurt. However, I tried the warm coconut milk & almond sauce, which was introduced in the comment section of The Breakaway Cook Blog.