Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Samosa Pot Pie

The filling for this is best made the day before, only because the flavors really have time to meld and intensify. The pastry throws you for a loop at first, as it is the most impossible stuff to work with, but trust me... it will be smooth and lovely when you let it stand for a bit. This is my quintessential potluck recipe. If you're pressed for time, you can always use a refrigerated pie crust (such as Pillsbury) but this one really is easier than it sounds.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. canola oil
6 Tbsp. water


6 medium-sized Yukon Gold potatoes, boiled in their skins and cooled.
3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 bag of frozen peas (about 2 cups)
1 minced hot chili pepper (I use a red jalapeno), ribs and seeds removed, optional
1/2 tsp ground ginger, or 1 tsp fresh minced ginger
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp garam masala
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon or lime juice

For serving:
1-2 cups of chutney, preferably tamarind (Naturally India makes a great jarred chutney) or McQuade's Fig & Ginger Chutney

Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/2 inch dice. Heat the oil in a large, oven-proof saute pan over med-high heat (or a large saute pan, but plan on transferring the mixture to a 13x9 inch pan to bake in the oven.) When hot, but not smoking, add the onion and saute until onion is translucent and browning at edges. Add the peas, ginger, cilantro, and water. Cover, lower heat, and simmer until peas are cooked. Stir every minute or so and add more water if it seems to dry out. Add the potatoes, salt, coriander, garam masala, cumin, cayenne, and lemon/lime juice. Stir to mix. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring gently. Taste, and adjust salt and lemon/lime juice. Remove from heat and let cool before putting it in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.

For the pastry: Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the oil, and rub the flour mixture between your fingers (like you're rubbing cold hands together) until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the water and mix with your hands until you can form a very stiff ball. It doesn't hold toether at first, so do not add more water to it, just keep at it. Empty the ball onto a clean work surface and knead for about 10 minutes until it is nearly smooth (well, smooth for a very stiff ball. It is still not going to hold together very well.) Form a ball and place it in a zip-top bag with a few drops of oil (about 1/2 tsp) making sure to coat the ball with the oil. Let stand for 30 minutes or longer at room temperature. The dough will soften as it rests. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness to cover whichever sized pan you're using.

Preheat oven to 400*F. Cover filling mixture with dough, cutting a vent in the middle. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until pastry is dark golden brown and filling is hot. Serve hot, or at room temperature with chutney.

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