Happy Diwali to all those celebrating the Festival of Light!
In my past life I was very much immersed in Indian culture and celebrated Diwali every year – although maybe it would be more accurate to say that I immersed myself in the food… curry, samoosas, soji, breyani, bhaji, jelebi, naan khatai, murukku, burfi … I think I drooled a little bit just now *wipes mouth on sleeve*. Now, all that remains of my former incarnation is curry cravings when I smell my neighbour’s cooking, and a nose stud which I refuse to get rid of because it was so sore to get in the first place.
Nowadays I’m happy to let a decent restaurant provide the more intricate dishes* since most Indian recipes require a certain amount of commitment in terms of time and ingredients (and dirty dishes! the amount of dishes is directly proportional to the number of ingredients); but when I heard about a BYOS (Bring Your Own Samoosa) Party I thought wouldn’t it be fun to try making samoosas from scratch, with a bit of an easier, healthier spin? Something that any non-Indian who is not adept in the art of folding a leak-proof little triangle could make? Something that isn’t hot enough to scorch the surface off of an unsuspecting victims tongue? And finally, I’ll admit, I happened to have all the ingredients handy…
And so, I give to you… Paleface SaMOOOsas 🙂 (emphasis on the MOOO).
You will need:
Low Fat Laughing Cow cheese wedges (they come in a pack of 8), well chilled. These give the MOOO factor.
Phyllo pastry – 3 sheets of – keep covered with a clean damp tea-towel at all times, or they will dry up and crack and become useless.
Olive oil for brushing
About 6 diced hot peppadews, finely chopped (optional) (optional, because I forgot to add them and didn’t really miss them)
Sweet chilli sauce for dipping
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line with baking paper or my favourite invention ever, the silicon mat. Deep fat frying is for people with asbestos forearms and who have no aspirations involving bikinis this summer.
Next, gently brush each phyllo sheet one at a time, laying them on top of each other (don’t brush the top of the last one). Try not to create any cracks or holes, or you’ll only end up with molten cheese lava bubbling all over your oven.
Righty-o. Unwrap a cheese wedgie (I don’t care how old you are, the word “wedgie” is always funny and should be used as often as possible) and place it on the corner of the pastry; using a sharp knife, cut the pastry to form a strip that’s just wider than the cheese wedgie *juvenile giggle*. Put a blob of sweet chilli onto the cheese, if you like.
Using the shape of the cheese to guide you (don’t go squashing it!), tightly wrap the cheese up by using a rolling and tucking motion. When you reach the end, brush a little bit of water on the ends to squish them neatly against the samoosa if it’s feeling a bit dry. Continue with the remaining wedgies *tee hee* until you have 8 beautiful triangles. Brush each lightly with some more oil all over, then place on the baking sheet. Let me channel the Barefoot Contessa here – How easy is that??
Bake for 15 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking. Remove from the oven when they are golden and crispy, and allow to stand for 10-15 minutes before serving with dipping sauce (if you serve them straightaway, expect 3rd degree palate burns).
Offer these little edible fireworks round in the face of disapproving purists, who will take one bite and agree that they are absolutely delicious even if not authentic. Try to avoid making any snide comments when they take a second and third, because it is Diwali after all :-).
*but since naan khatai isn’t on any menu’s that I know of, will someone please organise??