First of all, Ramadan Mubarak!! I could say that I was waiting for this month to start so I could start divulging all the best Pakistani recipes- but real talk. Coordinating with my mom to get a full recipe and instructions is hard work. But it kind of worked out, I have 30 days ahead of appetizers, entrees, and desserts to draw from! I’m actually really excited about this section, I’ve been wanting to learn/master some of my mom’s recipes for so long & it’ll be nice to have everything documented and saved (not to mention that it’s easier to follow a hard recipe over calling my mom and asking her how much is in a “pinch of X”).
Basically this next month is full of family dinners, where we all cram into the kitchen & each person is helping chop, stir, or fry something. So yesterday the whole family was over and we decided to make Samosas to break our fast, which are basically little triangle shaped pockets of spicy potato heaven. My mom is the only one who has truly mastered the triangle perfection, the rest of us either make scalene triangles or just opt for the simple life & make rolls.
If you’ve ever seen anyone make a samosa, you know that the tricky part isn’t the potato goodness inside but figuring out how to fold it so the stuffing stays inside but also retains a perfectly triangular shape. My sisters and I tried doing it without help and guys…it was real hard. We kept making squares and rhombuses. Then my mom sat down and started making them & I found out her method. Hint: it’s not magic.
It seems so simple, right?! Also for everyone who has tried making samosas with pastry sheets & have given up because they are so damn fragile and tear and bust apart- DON’T GIVE UP HOPE. My mom started using tortillas and now I don’t understand why this isn’t the norm. It’s so much easier to handle, it gets just as crispy, and it’s freaking delicious. Seriously. Save your pastry sheets for baklava.
Basically you cut the tortillas in three columns and fold as below. When you get done stuffing the pocket, you drop some water onto the open flap and then close it- and it stays closed!! Okay so maybe it is a little magical. (For those of you guys who haven’t tried making samosas, please reserve judgment on my samosa epiphanies and try to excuse my enthusiasm in finally figuring out the proper/easier way to do things.)
While we were changing things up & using tortillas instead of pastry sheets, we also decided to experiment our cooking method. Usually you deep fry these until they’re brown and crispy and delicious- but we decided that was too much oil. So we split the batch in half. The first half went into the oven and came out baked-level-of-crispy, all sides were evenly toasted and browned so success! The second half of these went into our (not even joking) Air Fryer. [My dad is obsessed with fried foods and saw this invention on TV and had to have it. The crazy thing? It actually works. We’ve made chicken, fish, french fries- it’s all come out beautifully crispy and delicious.] And, of course, the second batch was a success as well!
I was actually hesitant/excited about the Taste-of-Pakistan segment on here. Pakistani recipes always seem a little more daunting and complex- especially having to figure out the hard written recipe with my mom. But wow! I’m so happy with this. Samosas of course turned out amazing & it was such a great experience to cook with my mom. I mean- look how cute and talented she is?!
- 2 large potatoes, boiled & peeled
- 1/2 cup peas, frozen or fresh
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp ajwain seeds
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 packet of tortillas
- 1/2 cup of oil
- In a bowl, mash potatoes. Add spices and peas. Mix well and set aside.
- Cut tortillas in three strips (as pictured above).
- Fold tortilla strip into triangle and stuff with potato filling. Swab open tortilla flap with water and close. (Refer to method in picture)
- Dip each samosa into oil and lay on baking tray.
- Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until crispy brown.