Potato and Pea Samosas with Sweet Fennel and Chili Dipping Sauce

It was in the dark space under the main staircase. The chapel was right next to it but who cared about god other than during exams? The building was otherwise beautiful—large, bright, and airy, with huge expanses of playgrounds around it. Tall conifers stood testimony to the many generations that made their way through the mighty gates. During recess, children poked out their stuffed faces through the multi-colored grilles of the corridors and called out to friends threatening to start a game without them. There wasn’t enough time to eat and play or gossip.

Seconds before the recess bell rang, hungry students would dig into their pockets or satchels for the two rupees and fifty paise they fought for in the morning. It was never easy to convince mothers about the role of the canteen samosa in one’s overall personality development. As soon as the bell rang, classrooms would burst out children racing to get downstairs before the day’s stock got over. The grumpy Catholic couple who ran the canteen would have been arguing all this while, but the ringing of the bell meant business. Within seconds, there would be a zillion hands poking through the square grille, holding out loose change and green five rupee notes; a zillion voices calling, “Aunty, one samosa! Aunty, two chatar-matar!” The bullies stood right at the back, with one leg pressed against the wall, coolly assured that someone will get them their snack. The money would go first, the snack would arrive moments later, after a dangerous journey through the square grille.

Golden, short crust on the outside; spicy, soft, green inside. An occasional punctuation of a coriander seed. Beads of sweat on the brow, red nose, and the kind of smile that automatically makes you close your eyes. A dash to the Warana stall at the gate to wash it down with cool lassi. It was always worth it.

I’ve tried to recreate the samosas I ate in my school’s canteen. Guru Kripa, the people who supplied the samosas to the canteen, always serve their samosas with this dipping sauce. I urge you to try it—you won’t regret it!

Potato and pea samosas

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. semolina
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. ajwain
  • 6-8 medium-sized potatos
  • ½ cup frozen or blanched peas, roughly mashed
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds, bruised
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seed powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 3 green chilies
  • 1 inch piece ginger, grated
  • A handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil, 2 tbsp. + 1 tbsp. + for frying

Method:

  1. Boil, peel, and roughly mash the potatoes.
  2. In a pan, heat the 1 tbsp. of oil.
  3. Add green chilies ginger, and bruised coriander seeds and fry until fragrant.
  4. Add the coriander seed powder, turmeric powder, and salt.
  5. Tip in the potatoes and peas. Combine and cook for a minute.
  6. Add the cilantro and turn off the heat. Leave to cool.
  7. Place the flour, semolina, 2 tbsp. oil, and some salt in a large basin and knead to a tough but pliable dough using as little water as possible.
  8. Leave to rest for about 5 mins.
  9. Meanwhile, prepare your deep fat fryer or heat oil for deep frying in a wok.
  10. Pinch out small golf ball-sized balls of the dough and roll into oblong shapes.
  11. Cut through the center to get two semi-circles.
  12. Moisten the straight edge of the semi circle with a spot of water using your finger.
  13. Bring the two straight corners together and press them together to get a cone.
  14. Stuff this with the potato and pea stuffing, leaving a little space to seal.
  15. Moisten the edge of the cone and press to seal.
  16. Deep dry over a low to medium heat until golden.
  17. Serve piping hot.

Sweet fennel and chili dipping sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. fennel seeds, bruised
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds, bruised
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  1. In a saucepan, heat the oil and add the fennel and cumin seeds. Immediately after, add the chili powder and turn off the heat.
  2. Add the sugar and water and combine.
  3. Return to the heat and cook until you achieve the consistency of runny honey. Add salt to taste and simmer for another minute, just to let the flavors combine.
  4. Cool and serve with samosas.

Other samosa recipes on this blog:

Comments (14)

  1. Sneh | Cook Republic August 17, 2011 at 3:48 am

    I am so making this!!! Thank you for posting it. I remember Guru Kripa samosas very fondly 🙂 Your pics look great .. very tantalising!

  2. Vahishta Mistry August 17, 2011 at 4:52 am

    Madre de dios, I remember these bad boys, I must have eaten a hundred of these each year!

  3. Saee Koranne-Khandekar August 17, 2011 at 4:57 am

    @Sneh: Thanks! Although these are from a Vashi GK; not the Sion one. The samosas, however, are pretty darned good.
    @Vahishta: I KNOW, man!

  4. Santosh Bangar August 17, 2011 at 5:40 am

    wow spicy samosa is best with cup of tea in the evening

  5. Paaka Shaale August 17, 2011 at 5:53 am

    Oh wow!!! School canteens have their own special places in each students heart. Wonderful recipe, awesome photography and excellent write up. It was a pleasure reading this post 🙂

  6. Alka August 17, 2011 at 6:37 am

    Awesome post, lovely pics and oh ! the chutney/dip recipe is the one I was searching for..will surely give it a try…btw can we rather use jaggery..coz I love the flavor of jaggery in such chutneys.

  7. rachel August 17, 2011 at 7:35 am

    A lovely read and very pretty pictures Saaee.

  8. Snehal August 17, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Love the post! Thanks for posting the samosa chutney recipe! Fennels add such a wonderful flavor – totally going to make it!

  9. Ananda Rajashekar August 17, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    girl i loved ur post, took me straight to the school canteen day, yes samosas were so popular and indeed something for soul, now yearn for one! beautiful pictures and i heart ur blog title so special and something to one self!

  10. DEESHA August 18, 2011 at 5:43 am

    Aah the good old samosa .. Loved the chili dip

  11. evolvingtastes August 31, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I shouldn't have. I shouldn't have.

    Shouldn't have looked at this close to lunch time!! How are you?

  12. quaintkal September 11, 2011 at 2:02 am

    can't stop drooling. oh how miss gurukripa's samosas. some of the movie halls still do serve samosas from gurukripa if am not wrong. i will try my hand this one 🙂 but if you can tell, where exactly is this Vashi Gurukripa (since am based in Vashi)?

  13. Saee Koranne-Khandekar September 11, 2011 at 2:18 am

    @quaintkal: There's one in the Sector 6 square market and there's one in the Sector 10 square market. Brothers who split up. The samosas are equally good, though. 🙂

  14. plasterer bristol August 29, 2015 at 3:58 am

    This sounds really delicious and something new to try. Thank you for sharing this.

    Simon

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