Saturday, July 23, 2011

Recipe of the month - Samosa


This weekend, I thought I’d make samosas at home from scratch. Although I like samosas, I am extremely picky about the filling and more often than not, I come across samosas that I don't like. I generally prefer samosas that have a simple and mildly spiced filling. The heavily spiced varieties with fifty ingredients crammed into them just don't do it for me. I order samosas only at the places I know make them just the way I like them. I feel quite lazy to prepare them at home since they are not my most favourite deep fried snack. On the occasions that I have prepared them at home, I’d take the easy way out by preparing the filling and then use the store bought samosa sheets to wrap them in. This time I thought why not do everything myself especially since my husband loves homemade samosas. It was not as time consuming as I thought it would be. In fact, I’d say it almost didn’t take much extra time or effort :)

Here is my samosa recipe. I have slightly modified it from the way my atthe (mother-in-law) makes them. Samosas are highly customizable so you can modify the recipe based on your preferences. My MIL serves her samosas with a coconut based chutney. I prefer mine with a sweet chilli sauce and mild mint chutney. 

Samosa

Preparation time: 45 min
Cook time: 20-30 min
Recipe category: North Indian/Starter/Snack
Recipe level: Intermediate
Makes: 20 medium sized samosas
Serves: 5-6
Recipe source: MIL

Ingredients:


For the outer covering: 

2 cups plain flour (maida)

4 tbsp corn flour
1/2 cup warm oil
Salt to taste

Water to knead dough



For the filling: 

4 large potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds

1/2 cup green peas

1 large finely chopped onion
2 minced green chillies 

1 pod minced garlic 

1 large bunch finely chopped coriander 

1 tsp amchur (dry mango) powder

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp garam masala powder

1/2 tsp red chilli powder, Optional

Salt to taste

Vegetable oil, for deep frying

Method:



1. For the dough: Mix the plain flour, corn flour and salt together with the warm oil till the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add water little by little, kneading into soft pliable dough. Cover with a damp cloth and keep aside for 15-20 minutes.


2. For the filling: heat oil and add cumin seeds. Once they start to splutter, add green chilli and garlic. Fry for a minute and then add onion and sauté till light brown. Add turmeric powder, amchur powder, salt, red chilli powder (if using) and garam masala powder. Stir fry for 2 min. Now add the boiled and mashed potatoes and cooked peas. Stir for further 2 minutes. Add the coriander leaves. Keep aside to cool.




3. Make a thin 5" diam. round with some dough.



4. Cut into two semi-circles. Fold as illustrated in the diagram and the pics.

Image source: Photobucket.com




5. Place the filling in the cone and seal (use water to moisten the edge and press together).




6. Drop in hot oil, deep fry on low to medium till light brown. Drain on paper towels.


7. Serve hot with the chutney/sauce of your choice.


Cheers,
Megha

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Social Networking - the good, the bad and the ugly!


"It's not what you know but who you know that makes the difference" 

                                                       -Anonymous

I am a self-confessed social networkoholic! I wouldn't go to the extent of calling myself an addict because I'm confident that I can bear the trauma of all my connections to the world of social networking being severed! Although I must admit that on occasion, I do have to keep myself in check to prevent myself crossing the fine line into addiction. I used to be a member of several social networking sites but when it started eating away my free time (which was not much to begin with), I restricted myself to Facebook. I often wonder how I used to spend the time that I now spend on FB  before I got sucked into it. I think that my life must have been far more productive back then. The worst phase of it was when I was hooked onto a motley assortment of games at the same time. I used to fervently go about tending my make-believe crops, fish and restaurants on a daily or sometimes even hourly basis! But after a while the whole ritual started to tire me out. Not to mention the annoyance at seeing all the invitations and news feeds by similar idle people. I decided from then onwards that I would not waste my time on such pointless applications. For a while after that I began to play more mentally stimulating games like Word Challenge and Geo Challenge but that slowly lost steam as well. On the upside, they did contribute significantly to my vocabulary and geographical knowledge. Hey, I can correctly identify the flag of Lesotho you know....hahahahaha. Anyway, if games weren't enough to distract people from their "real" lives, absurd and trivial status updates are considered useful tools to provide an alternative route of escape. Hey, I'm guilty of that too! I remember that I actually used to call my friends more often and e-mail them from time to time. Nowadays it is just so convenient to just write on someone's wall or send them a message on FB. I often even wish my friends and family for birthdays or anniversaries on FB and then feel guilty about not making a greater effort. After all, its not as if you need to do to jog your memory cells with remembering a friends birthday.....FB will even do that for you! Seriously, it is so tempting to become lazy since the advent of these social networking sites.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Movie review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2)


If you have read some of my previous posts, you will know that I am a die-hard Harry Potter fan. I have read each book more than 4 times and watched each movie umpteen times! The books are far better than the movies though; there is no question about that. I have always felt that a movie can never do justice to a writer’s brilliance. I can’t help but wonder if people who haven’t read any of the books can really understand what’s going on.