Attentive readers would remember that in my mother's day post, I mentioned that I had tons of phyllo pastry left over from my baklava. What I decided was to make some baked samosas out of them.
Samosas are wonderful finger-sized snacks, with morsels of spicy, savory vegetable or meat fillings wrapped into a triangle of pastry, then usually deep-fried. I don't know how to decribe this delicious traditional Indian snack, except to say that they will condemn the most fastidious diet plans to hell.
Well, my version is slightly less sinful, but no less addictive. I'll pop samosas over pringles or chips any day of the year. Instead of homemade pastry, I used phyllo pastry, and of course, I baked it, instead of deep frying it.
Indian spices [I find that unless you are an expert of spices, any mix of spices will give the exciting spicy kick we associate with Indian food, so no need to be too fussy about what spices you use, just whatever Indian spice you have around, common ones like cumin, marsala, chili, tumeric, etc. I particularly LOVE Indian mustard seeds, not for any particular taste, but for the fantastic popping sensation it gives when bitten into]
Mixture of vegetables [whatever you have on hand. Near anything would work, I used carrots, couple handfuls of mixed veg, and a couple of potatoes]
10 sheets of phyllo pastry. Adjust the amount of filling according to how much pastry you have, or want to make.
50g Melted butter OR vegetable oil
First the filling, which is dead easy to make. Dump all the vegetables into a pot, cover with lots of water, and allow to boil away till soft. Drain and mash up all the vegetables to desired consistency, either chunky or smooth.
In a frying pan, heat up a couple tablespoons full of oil. Fry up the spices [I used marsala, mustard seeds, cumin and chili powder] and the onions, watching and smelling carefully not to burn them. Once fragrant, pour in the vegetable mash and stir fry, until everything smells nice and the filling looks dry. Season accordingly, remove from heat and set aside.
On a piece of baking paper, lay out one sheet of phyllo pastry. Brush all over with the butter or oil, then lay another sheet of phyllo pastry over it, to get a 'sandwich'. Brush over the top sheet of pastry with oil/butter again. Cut, lengthwise, into either 8 or 4 strips, depending on the size you want your samosas to be.
Spoon just enough of the filling into the left hand diagonal of the bottom of the strip of pastry. Turn up the bottom corner of the right hand diagonal, covering the filling. Then, pick up the left bottom corner, folding it upwards. Continue to get the triangular shape, until the strip of pastry is used up. Follow with the rest of the pastry and filling.
Place wrapped pastry on a baking sheet. They can be close together and touching, no problem at all. Brush with oil one final time before baking in a preheated 180 degree celcius oven until brown and crispy. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for one day, then reheated in the oven, and will still be crispy =D