Monday, September 26, 2011

Dates-coconut-dry fruit samosa.

This is one of those Ramadan posts that never made it in time because... Life happened. Lame even to my ears.

I don't know how often I can post from now on, but seeing the viewer stats makes me extremely grateful (and I check them each day!). It eggs me on to post more than I possibly can.

This does not mean I don't cook or eat out. I do loads of both, trust me. Uploading photos on the blog and typing out semi-sensible words are time-hoggers. How many alternative adjectives exist for delicious, anyway? Don't answer. Many, I know.

There's nothing in life worth starving over or compromising on your food habits for. Not skinny jeans (Apple bottoms, any one?), not gorgeous blazers (wear them even if you have man-shoulders). Not long duties (granola and fruit to the rescue!). Not heartbreaks, not jiggly love handles. None of it.

At one point, Kate Moss's famous comment ("Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels") was practically the guiding point of my life, but I like to think I'm finally beyond crack-inspired ideologies.

Incidentally, I've got to get around to doing a review. So many places I want to physically push you into going; so many I don't want you to waste your money and Sundays over.

For now though, I'll post a recipe that most people would consider a bastardization of the samosa, but is indigenous to my village-of-origin and would be fiercely defended by the natives (it's politically correct for me to insult them, I checked). I might have played around with the recipe, adding dates to the filling, somewhat inspired by the sticky date rolls you get in Chinese restaurants.

 It takes five minutes to throw together (a wee bite more than that, maybe), has practically zero cooking (unless you're willing to deep fry) and tastes beyond excellent (to my tastebuds, at least. And yours', if you like cardamamom and coconut). Oh, and is healthy. If you're willing to not deep-fry it.

Try making these when older, distinguished guests visit. I meant it when I said no excuses were allowed.

Dates-and-coconut samosas/samose:


Readymade wonton/samosa wrappers: 5
Dates (juicy medjool-type dates): 10*
Coconut, freshly grated: 1/2 cup
Sugar (white granulated): 2 tbsp (or to taste)
Cardamom (ground) 1 tsp
Cashews: 10 or so, halved
Split channa dal (roasted): 2 tbsp
Honey and sesame seeds: to serve

*This recipe is traditionally made without the dates, as the photos indicate. A handful of raisins are added in its place.


In a medium saucepan, saute the deseeded and chopped dates in a little butter or ghee until it turns gloriously gooey. Not for more than a couple of minutes, though, it'll turn chewy and caramelized. You can also make this healthier by steaming the dates. Keep aside.

In a small bowl, combine the coconut (you can use sweetened desiccated coconut, but skimp on the sugar in that case!), powdered cardamom, the roasted dal and mix. Add the dates if using. Or add raisins and cashews instead.

Take a sheet of samosa wrapper. Make a cone out of it.

First you fold one end of the rectangular wrapper into a triangle. Fold into another triangle. Repeat until you have a cone.

Stuff in the mixture, close and seal.

For sealing, we generally use a mix of flour and water to form a runny liquid that usually works as an adhesive.

Brush with ghee/butter and bake in a preheated oven (greased baking sheet, please!) at 180 C or 350 F until golden brown and crispy. And yes, you can deep fry it like a regular samosa.

The golden brown one has obviously been deep-fried.

Drizzle the honey over the piping hot samosa and sprinkle on the sesame seeds.

Or set these out on the table while you search for the organic white sesame seeds that you picked up at Spice Route and come back to see that the family has polished them off. And since it was Ramadan and every one was famished, I didn't even get to deliver my oft-repeated speech on etiquette/manners/uncouth behaviour et cetera.

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