King Dan. King of Samosas
Samosas were always something that - alongside beigels, puff pastry, ketchup, Battenberg cake and baked beans - I had always thought would be better and easier if someone else made. Why bamboozle your brain and destroy your kitchen trying to muster together what will only be a pale imitation of the original when the professionals, be they chef or machine, will do it far, far better?
Well, I have been proved wrong. I didn't actually make this batch of samosas - that was the work of my brother in law, King Dan. However, having seen the documentary evidence below covering how they were put together, and more importantly, having tasted the results, I am convinced they are definitely worth the effort.
The recipe chosen was by Rick Stein. As an aside, if you haven't started watching the current documentary from Stein covering Venice to Istanbul, do as it is ace. It is his "Lamb Samosas" recipe - available here or also recreated here. I have it on good authority that Dan used filo as the more authentic pastry strips weren't available in deepest darkest Hertfordshire. He also invested in a little worktop deep fat fryer. We had a big debate about this as the same results can just as easily - if more scarily - be achieved with a big wok full of vat. That said, these nifty smaller fryers don't break the bank and, if you can avoid the temptation to deep fry the contents of your fridge on a regular basis in the name of "science", they are probably worth investing in.
They were absolutely delicious. The mint came through really well and the cumin seeds on the outside - a slight tweak to the original recipe - were perfection. The best innovation to the recipe that King Dan made was to make an absolute tonne of them. I am sure they could be frozen and whipped out whenever the occasion called for some Indian snacks. Failing that, I think you would be surprised how many of these beauties can be devoured in one sitting.
We had them with mango chutney and lime pickle. If I were to quibble - and being a Symonds, I most certainly will - I would have preferred to have them with a thinner tamarind or mint style sauce. Thinner and thereby easier to mop this up with the samosa. Or, following the best buffet tip I have ever received, clearly from a pro, make a little hole in the top of the samosa and spoon the thinner sauce straight inside. Winner.