Thursday, December 31, 2009

NYE #2--Tamarind dipping sauce (p. 237), Samosas with ground beef (p. 89), and Samosas with potatoes and peas (p. 89)

Rachel pointed out that we should make samosas for the New Year's Eve party. We both like samosas, she made made them before (granted, with puff pastry rather than phyllo), and I had used phyllo before (making mushroom triangles), so it seemed perfect. We decided we would make both types of samosas in TJOC and a tamarind dipping sauce (conveniently on the randomly generated list!). Rachel mentioned that maybe we should just make half batches of both types and I said the words that would come back to haunt me--"Oh no. You like samosas, TJOC recipes don't always half well, we'll just make both".

Tamarind dipping sauce (p. 237). I'm not an expert on tamarind dipping sauce although it is pretty ubiquitous at Indian restaurants. I had never seen tamarind before but, bizarrely, Rachel had some in the cupboard.

This is tamarind paste:

It looks absolutely disgusting but smells deliciously fruity. You don't even use the tamarind--you soak it in water and then use the water and through out the tamarind. That seems bizarre to me. So the tamarind water, raisins, dates, brown sugar, cilantro, chili-garlic sauce (which Rachel tasted, made a face, which motivated me to taste it and make a face--it's very salty!), salt, cumin, and ginger were added to the blender:

If you are wondering what that yellow is--I was making three recipes at once, got mixed up, and that's yellow mustard that I got the vast majority removed (I wasn't about to through it out and start over!).

It was blended and then strained:

OMG! It was sooooo good. Sweet and tangy and the perfect condiment for the samosas. Everyone who tried it said that it tasted just as good as at restaurants and it was my favorite thing that we made all night. Rachel gave me some tamarind paste so I can make it again (unfortunately, I don't have any dates but I'm sure I can fix that).

These samosas were made at the end of the night after almost twelve hours of cooking and my pictures started to suffer (in other words, I took very few pictures of the samosa-making process). We made Samosas with ground beef (p. 89). It was an easy start--onion, garlic, ginger, coriander, turmeric, and salt were sauteed in vegetable oil. Ground beef was added and then water until it evaporated. At the very end cilantro and jalapeno peppers were added.

This picture is at the beginning of the process:

We also made Samosas with potatoes and peas (p. 89). We cooked potatoes and mashed them. We then cooked mustard seeds and garlic in vegetable oil and added it to the potatoes, along with peas, an onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lemon juice, and salt:

The samosas were wrapped in exactly the same way that the mushroom triangles (referenced above) were wrapped:

When they came out of the oven they were beautiful:

No exaggeration, the samosas took me at least 2.5 hours to wrap. I never seemed to make an progress! And that was with me wrapping and Rachel popping them into the oven and getting them out--without her doing that job, it would have easily taken twice as long. When Rachel bit into the first one, I told her I sure hoped they were good, otherwise I was going to cry.

The samosas were absolutely amazing! I'm thinking that we didn't make 120 of them (the amount the recipe claims it makes) but it easily made 100. Different people had different opinion on which ones were the best. The beef was heavily seasoned and strong and the potatoes were crisp and savory. I absolutely adored the ground beef ones--they were so delicious!

I would make these again but only for a special occasion. They were well worth the time but it was a LOT of time...

The pea and potato samosa recipe is online.

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  1. WOW, I can't imagine making samosas from scratch, let alone that many! Look delicious though. We're lucky enough to have an Indian bakery right next to us so I cheat and get those, heh. And Tamarind is funny, all indian cooking uses it soaked in water. My MIL brought us a GIANT brick of it from India last time. It will take us 10 years to go through it, lol.

  2. Hi Jessica! This is my first time visiting, and found your blog really awesome. So I stayed a little longer than intended. I'll love to give this recipe a go (we're having a party this weekend) and will be back to check out more interesting stuff... Thank you:)


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