Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Baked Root Vegetable Samosas With Grapefruit Chutney

Rather than frying the samosas, I bake them. This dough still yields a nice balance of crispy and chewey crust.

The filling falls in the category of "I have a bunch of veggies to use and these sound good". I sometimes do the more traditional potato & peas filling, adding carrot for a bit of sweetness. Since I don't really care for either potatoes or peas (unless they're straight from the pod, and those went in the rice), however, I often seek out different fillings. Since we had turnips that needed to be used, I figured they were a great substitute for potato. I left in my usual standby of carrot. One of the beauties of these little pastries is that the filling can be pretty much whatever you want. You could even do a dessert version with fruit!

You should serve with some sort of complementing sauce(s). This time I served them with some grapefruit chutney (recipe below), but there are endless sauces you can use. One of my favorites is seasoning pumpkin butter with warm spices (cardomom, cumin, etc) and apple cider vinegar.

The rolling and assembly of the samosas was courtesy of my husband and favorite sous chef :-)

Samosas - Yields approx. 1 dozen samosas.

Pastry: (adapted from Mollie Katzen's "Moosewood")
  • 2 c whole wheat pastry flour, plus more for kneeding
  • 1 c plain yogurt (If greek, add 1 Tbl. of water)
  • 1 large pinch of salt
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Knead for a few minutes (between 3-5 min.). You don't want to over work the dough, but you do want to develop enough gluten so that it's strong enough to hold the filling. Once this is done, cover with a damp towel and set aside to rest while you make the filling (if longer than an hour, put it in a baggie and into the fridge- this can be done even a few days ahead).

Filling: (I vary the filling frequently. You need approx. 3 c of chopped raw vegetables-- more if they lose a lot of moisture while cooking)
  • 3 small pink turnips (one large turnip would do), skin-on, scrubbed and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbl. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds, crushed
  • salt, to taste
Keep in mind that you want to have your vegetables all cooked to your desired doneness at the same time. It's okay to start cooking the hardier vegetables for a few minutes and then add those that will be done more quickly. I actually like that in this particular combination the carrots take longer than the turnips. I started them at the same time on purpose, so that the turnips with be nice and soft while the carrots were tender, but still had some body to them. The combination of textures were great!

Heat the oil in a hot skillet and add the vegetables, in stages, if necessary. Add a pinch of salt, the mustard seeds. As the vegetables soften, season to taste.

Filling, before & after

Let the filling cool before assembling.

Assembly: (at this point, preheat your oven to 425 F)

  • Divide dough into approx. 1" balls
  • Flour your workspace and roll into approx. 5" circles
  • Place approx. 1 1/2 Tbl. of filling (better to slightly under-fill than over-fill)
  • Fold in half around the filling and crimp edges with a fork, along the semicircle
  • Place on an oiled baking sheet (I used an olive oil mister)
  • If you have a mister with olive oil, spray the tops of the pastries, as well
  • Bake for 15 minutes
  • Turn over and reduce oven to 375 F
  • Bake another 7-10 minutes, until brown
Grapefruit chutney
  • 1 large ruby red grapefruit
  • 1/2 onion (I used a small, whole spring onion)
  • 2 Tbl. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbl. brown sugar, or equivalent (I used a brown xylitol/stevia blend)
  • 1 tsp. cardomom
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  •  a few grinds of black pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne (optional)
  • salt, to taste
Using a sharp knife, peel the grapefruit, taking care to remove and discard all of the bitter white pith. Section the grapefruit out of its membrane and cut into chunks (they will break down as they cook), removing any seeds. If you are a whole-foods eater like me, finely mince the membrane and add with the fruit. It does add a small amount of bitterness, but the rest of the flavors mellow that component. If you have a cutting board with a little reservoir, use it to capture any juices and pour them into the pot, as well.

Saute onion in a small amount of water to soften, then add grapefruit (or, if you're like me, do the onions separately because you initially forgot them until the first taste, haha). As it's about half way softened, add vinegar and approx. 1/2 c. water. Let simmer slowly until reduced approximately by half (approx 30 minutes), stirring every 5-10 minutes. Add seasonings slowly and adjust where necessary. It should be like a loose jam. Let it cool to room temp before using.


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