Samosas bring memories from a family of chefs

Punjabi samosa

Since my father and grandfather were chefs and it was a family business too, I got into the same profession. I don’t have any formal education in hotel management but have learnt the technicalities from them. 

I am from Uttarakhand and there, people usually get into the agricultural field, army or the hotel business. If I wasn’t a chef, I would be a farmer in my hometown. 

Me not having a degree didn’t affect me. The trial period of a chef is what is important. The fact that you need to prepare food that is approved by all is a challenge. 

I think having a degree these days matters more than it did 20 years ago when I started off. 

Before landing in Bengaluru two years ago, I have worked in Chennai, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Dehradun.   

When I was growing up, I remember my father taking over the kitchen at home and cooked up some delicious meals for us. He always believed in preparing food that is simple but tasty. I got that quality from him. 

The techniques required to prepare Indian cuisine is elaborate and needs patience to get the required result. I started enjoying that process of waiting and seeing food take its shape, colour and consistency and today, my expertise lies in Mughlai and North Indian cuisines. 

I usually go by the classic recipe of a dish but I try new varieties of it. Experimenting with food is the key to keep customers happy. I enjoy preparing butter chicken. It is one of my most preferred dishes. 

But when I am at home on my off days, I like to savour home-cooked khichdi with home-made chutney.

The recipe I am sharing today is ‘Punjabi Samosa’. Since Bengaluru is getting chillier, this recipe will complement the weather. 

Back in Dehradun, there was a small tea stall which offered some hot and crunchy samosas.  At times, I used to go there with friends and have spent some great times. It slowly became a routine. I always thought of trying to make them at home.  This recipe makes me nostalgic and I hope it brings back some pleasant memories for you too.  

Ingredients 

Boiled potatoes (peeled), ½ inch cubes - 200 gm 

Oil - 1 tbsp

Shelled green peas (boiled) - 50 gm

Oil - 1 ltr

Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

Ginger (finely chopped) - 1 tsp

Green chillies (finely chopped) - 3 to 4 numbers

Red chilli powder - 1 tsp

Dried mango powder - 1 tsp

Garam masala powder - 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Fresh coriander leaves (chopped) 2 tbsp

For dough

Vanaspati ghee - 100 gm 

Water - 200 ml

Refined flour (maida) - 500 gms

Method

To prepare the dough, 

Shift flour in a bowl. Add ghee and some cold water and knead into a dough.

Set aside.

For stuffing 

Heat one tbsp oil in an iron ‘kadhai’.

Add cumin seeds, ginger, green chillies and potatoes, mix and cook for one minute.

Add red chilli powder, dried mango powder, garam masala powder and salt and mix well.

Add boiled potato cubes and cook further. 

Add chopped coriander and mix well.

Remove from heat and keep it aside to cool.

To make samosas, 

Heat sufficient oil in a ‘kadhai’.

Deep fry the samosas on low heat till they become crisp and golden. 

Place them on an absorbent paper.

Serve with sweet chutney. 

Tips: Use an iron ‘kadhai’ if possible. It enhances the taste of the stuffing.  

Chef Mohammad Shiraz, Junior Sous Chef, Hilton Bangalore Embassy Golflinks

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