The humble samosa is enjoyed all over the subcontinent in many different forms, and loved by all, but what it says to me is how close all these cultures are. If you don’t want to make the pastry, you can use 4 sheets of frozen shortcrust pastry and cut the preparation time at least by half.
• vegetable oil, for deep-frying
• Tamarind chutney, to serve
FOR THE PASTRY
• 150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
• 75 g (2½ oz/½ cup) atta flour (high-protein durum wheat flour)
• a pinch of salt
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• 3 teaspoons melted ghee or rice bran oil
• 12–15 peanuts
• rice bran oil, for pan-frying
• a pinch of panch phoron
• 2.5 cm (1 inch) knob of fresh ginger, peeled and very finely chopped, or
• crushed and chopped in a blender
• 3–4 Indian green chillies, chopped
• 1 potato, peeled and finely diced
• ½ small cauliflower, chopped
• a handful of frozen peas
• 1 tomato, chopped
• ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
• ½ teaspoon ground cumin
• ½ teaspoon ground coriander
• ½ teaspoon chilli powder
• a pinch of salt, or to taste
• a pinch of sugar, or to taste
TOASTED SPICE MIX
• ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, dry-roasted and ground
• ½ teaspoon coriander seeds, dry-roasted and ground
• 2–3 dried red chillies, dry-roasted and ground
For the pastry, place the flours, salt and baking powder in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the ghee or oil and mix in just enough water to make a smooth, soft dough. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
For the filling, fry the peanuts in a small saucepan in a few drops of rice bran oil over medium heat until they turn a dark golden brown, stirring often. Tip into a bowl and set aside.
In a heavy-based saucepan, heat another 3–4 teaspoons of oil over medium heat. Add the panch phoron and toss for a few seconds. Add the ginger and green chilli and cook, stirring, for another 2–3 minutes. Now stir in the potato, cauliflower, peas and tomato and cook for 5 minutes.
Slowly stir in the ground spices, then season to taste with salt and sugar. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring a few times to ensure the spices don’t burn.
Combine the ingredients for the toasted spice mix. Add to the filling mixture with the fried peanuts and mix well. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Cut the dough into four equal portions. Roll each one out on a lightly floured work surface into a 14–15 cm (5½–6 inch) disc and cut it into quarters.
Spoon some filling inside each portion, brush the edges with water, then fold together to form a triangle, sealing the edges together.
Pour about 10 cm (4 inches) of vegetable oil into a heavy-based saucepan and heat to 180°C (350°F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns brown in 15 seconds.
Without overcrowding the pan, cook two or three samosas at a time, for 3–4 minutes each batch, until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and serve hot or warm, with tamarind chutney.