by Shumaila

Yesterday it rained and with it my plans to go for a run were washed away. Instead V and I went out for dinner. Since I had overeaten at the Christmas party, and my running plans didn’t materialize, my order consisted of garden salad, fish, corn cob, dinner rolls and wild rice. It was pretty filling. But, you won’t believe it at 3 in the morning I had hunger pangs. My stomach was growling. I was mumbling in my sleep- I am hungry, I want food! Gosh! What’s wrong with me?? I mean I ate a lot. In fact at dinner, it was so embarrassing because while my plate was clean as a whistle, V had just managed to eat only 1/4th of his dish- the rest he took as to-go! So at 3 am in the morning I was wondering to myself- seriously what’s wrong with me?? Why am I such a glutton?? Do I have worms??? But, then if that was the case, I would be really thin. Then, do I have a really really fast metabolic rate? But, then again that being the case, it would still mean a very slim me! But, then neither am I slim nor am I anywhere close to it. (I checked my weight yesterday, and it wasn’t a pretty site 😦 !) Am I compulsive eater then? Or were the hunger pangs a result of what I was thinking about before I fell off to sleep (a.k.a the Black Forest Cake I am planning to make- I know glutton!). Anyways some how I slept again.

That was yesterday and today is a new day. I had some leftover samosa filling from the samosas I had made to take for the Christmas party. And I thought along with that some spicy chickpea curry would be perfect for lunch. (It’s almost like my mind blocked the memory of seeing my alarming weight- here I am planning to eat some more deep fried stuff! Glutton!)

Now Samosas, to explain in english, are like savory turnovers with a spicy potato and pea filling, deep fried (yes, deep fried) in oil. They are a very popular Indian snack served with mint and tamarind chutneys. When I was in India I would eat my samosa with a little curd and chutney. I always found the filling too spicy and the curd helped in balancing the flavors for my palate.

My dad is crazy about all stuff fried, all stuff sweet, actually all stuff fattening (I think that’s how I developed my love for food- from my dad). He once took me to this small shop in Panchkuian Road, near Connought Place, Delhi, called Frontier Stall to try their spicy samosa with chhole (a hot chickpea curry). Ah! Sweet fried goodness! It was mouth watering delicious! (By the way I found this link for things to definitely try when in Delhi- I could check only 6 out of 12) So when I decided to make Samosas for the Christmas party, I had already made a mental note to myself that with the Samosas left I would try recreating that chaat. Unfortunately, there were non left (secretly, I was happy because that proved that they were good!) but fortunately, I was left with some of the filling.

The only thing I would change the next time I make them is to make the filling more spicy. Both times I have made Samosas, I have made with the purpose of serving it to my foreign friends who are not used to too spicy food. Though perfect for people who prefer less spice, to make it more spicy add some red chilli powder to the dough and in the filling, add the green chillies with the seeds. You can also check Harini’s version (I found this site today so haven’t tried the recipe but to make a spicier version I’ll definitely give this a try too)

I took the recipe for the chhole from Manjula’s Kitchen’s website.



For the dough:

300 gms (approx 2 cups) flour

salt to taste

4 tbsp vegetable oil

Approx. 90 ml water

For the filling:

5 cups potato

1 2/3 cups green peas

3 tbsp ghee

1 3/4 tsp cumin seeds

3 tbsp ginger

1 tsp red chilli powder

10 green chillies (I deseeded mine)

5 tsp anar dana powder

1/3 cup coriander


For the dough:

  1. Sieve the flour and salt together.
  2. Make a bay. Pour oil in it and start mixing gradually.
  3. When the oil is fully mixed, add water, approx 6 tbsp/90 ml.
  4. Knead gently to make a semi hard dough (shouldn’t be soft).
  5. Cover with a moist cloth and keep aside for 15 minutes.
  6. Divide into 6 equal portions and make balls. Cover with the moist cloth.

For the filling:

  1. Peel, wash cut potatoes into 1/4th inch cubes and immerse in water.
  2. Boil peas until cooked. Drain.
  3. Scrape, wash and finely chop ginger.
  4. Deseed green chillies and chop finely.
  5. Wash and chop coriander.
  6. Heat ghee in a kadhai. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Add ginger and sauté for a minute.
  7. Add potatoes,  red chilli powder and salt.
  8. Sauté for 5 minutes. Reduce to low heat and cover and cook, stirring occasionally until potatoes are tender, not mashed.
  9. Add boiled peas and green chillies until liquid is totally evaporated and mixture is dry.
  10. Now sprinkle the anar dana powder and then coriander and divide into 12 equal portions.

Shaping and stuffing the samosas:

  1. Place the ball on a lightly floured surface. Make a round disc approx 8 ” diam. Cut it in half.
  2. Place the half flat on the palm with the straight edge along the forefinger.
  3. Dip the other forefinger in water and put water on the edges in a line and make a cone.
  4. Stuff a portion of filling in it and seal the open end by pressing firmly.
  5. Sprinkle flour on tray and arrange stuffed samosas on it.
  6. Keep aside covered till ready to fry.
  7. Deep fry samosas over medium heat, until brown and crisp. (Heat should not be too high else the outside would burn and the inside would still not be cooked fully.)

(To reheat, line a baking sheet with samosa at 110° C in oven for 30 minutes. To make it crisp don’t put foil on top)

To make the chaat:

  1. Make the chhole as described here.
  2. Break two samosas in a bowl.
  3. Pour a generous helping of the chhole on top.
  4. Add 1-2 tbsp of curd, sliced onions and chopped tomatoes.
  5. Top it with some mint chutney.
  6. Sprinkle some chaat masala and red chilli powder, if you like.