I love samosas, but I find the pastry casing a bit heavy sometimes, so I thought I'd try the filling in a filo pastry casing for a change. The pastry wrapping process might sound complicated, but it's straightforward once you've wrapped one samosa and know what you're doing, as long as you make sure that the pastry doesn't dry out. Filo becomes incredibly brittle when it's allowed to lose too much moisture, so keep it away from the hot stove. This recipe will make twelve samosas.
1 lb 10 oz (750 g) potatoes (we used Maris Piper)
6 oz (175 g) shelled peas
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp ground nut oil
1 medium-sized onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 hot green chilli, finely chopped
pinch of salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
juice of 1 lime
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
1 packet (270 g, 9½ oz) filo pastry (we used the Jus-Rol one that's approved by the Vegetarian Society)
1 oz (25 g) butter, melted
Ingredients for the Mint Raita:
17½ oz (500 g) Greek yoghurt
4 tbsp coconut cream
2 tbsp mint sauce
½ oz (15 g) fresh coriander, chopped
Begin by chopping the potatoes into small dice. Pop them into the steamer with the fresh peas and cook until tender. While they are steaming, move on to the next steps.
Preheat the oven to 190 C/375 F/Gas 5.
Pop the cumin and fennel seeds into a small pan and dry fry until they start to pop. Transfer them to a mortar and grind them until you get a coarse powder, then set them aside.
Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion and garlic for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the ginger and chopped chilli and cook for 1 minute (see photo above).
Add the potatoes, peas, salt, ground coriander, ground cumin and fennel seeds, garam masala, cayenne pepper and lime juice, give everything a good stir so that the vegetables are coated with the spices, then cook on low heat for 5 minutes, stirring gently as you do so (see photo above). Stir in the coriander leaves, then remove from the heat and allow everything to cool.
Melt the butter in a small pan. Cut the filo sheets into 3½" (9 cm) x 10" (25 cm) strips. Use two strips at a time, keeping the rest covered with a clean damp cloth to stop them from drying out. Take one of the two strips and brush it with a little melted butter, then place the second strip on top of it and brush that with butter. Place two heaped tablespoons of the potato mixture onto the bottom of the strip, fold the filo pastry over the filling so that a triangular shape is formed, then continue folding the pastry around the filling (alternating straight and diagonal folds) to form a triangular samosa that is sealed all around. Then repeat this process with the pastry and potato mixture until they're used up. Brush the samosas with melted butter and then pop them into the oven, on a greased baking sheet, for about 20 minutes, until crisp and golden. The oven time may vary depending on your oven type.
While the samosas are in the oven, move on to making the mint raita. Pop the yoghurt, coconut cream, mint sauce, ½ oz (15 g) of chopped fresh coriander and a seasoning of salt and pepper into a blender and give it a good whizz until you have a smooth sauce.
Pop the raita into a bowl and serve it with the samosas as they come out of the oven.