Thursday, March 10, 2005

deep fried potato and chickpea "pillows" with coriander and mango relish

...a la samosas

used spring rolls wrappers that were too small to stuff and shape into triangles so i call them pillows.
i have taken liberties with a recipe from a little cookbook "the best of India," by Balraj Khanna to try and duplicate the first-time-bite-experience. a British friend persuaded me to try samosas at a little bazaar in the courtyard of what used to be the Quad complex in Makati. way back when. after one batch of big bites i went back for more from the little tent and asked the nice lady for extra chutney: a heavenly green mango cilantro "pesto"-like concoction which went perfectly with the samosas.
my ma's recent batch of pickled green mango turned out too salty so i thought i'd lighten it up with a whirl of cilantro and "calamansi" citron juice. it turned out really refreshingly green and sour tasting.

for the samosas:1 2-in. piece fresh ginger, peeled & coarsely chopped
1 tbsp. pomegranate seeds (anardana)
5 tbsps. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. coriander seeds, crushed
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 & 1/2 tsp. garam masala*
1 pound potatoes (about 2 large), peeled, boiled & coarsely chopped
1 cup chickpeas "garbanzos," canned
1/3 cup thawed frozen peas
spring rolls wrappers
vegetable oil for deep frying

process chili, ginger and pomegranate seeds in a blender until fine.
in a medium saucepan, heat 3 tbsps. of the oil over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. add the cumin and coriander seeds and cook, stirring constantly,
30 seconds, or until the seeds pop and blacken.
add the onions and the remaining oil. cook, stirring occasionally, 7 minutes, or until the onions are golden brown. reduce the heat to low, add the chili-ginger mixture, and cook, stirring constantly, 4 minutes. stir in the garam masala, potatoes, and peas, and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. set aside to cool completely.

wrap in spring roll wrappers and deep fry for about 4 minutes or until golden brown.
drain in paper towels and serve with cilantro-green mango chutney.
there's a little "punjab cafe" a stone's throw away from home where i get a quick fix, very rarely since i am the only one who adores this cuisine in my household. they serve their samosas with a tangy tamarind-onion chutney.

*garam masala can be store-bought or home made (grind together in a spice mill or with mortar and pestle, 1 tbsp. black peppercorns, 2 tsps. cumin seeds, 1 1-inch pc. of cinnamon stick, 10 green cardamom pods, 1 tsp. cloves, and 3 bay leaves. store in an airtight container. this makes about 3 tbsps.).