Friday, 21 November 2014

Veggie Samosas

We're now yet another week closer to Christmas, and although there's still just over 30 days left until Christmas Day, there's a packet of mince pies in our kitchen, I saw some boxes of Christmas crackers in Sainsbury's while my friends were buying their dinner last week, and we've just started rehearsals for our Christmas concert.  It's probably still a little bit early to set in with the Christmas recipes, so for this week, it's more of a recipe for all year round, but can also be very useful for Christmas parties.  This recipe for veggie samosas is one of the many that I found in the index of The Great British Bake Off Learn to Bake book that I received for my birthday earlier this year.  I think they would make a great contribution to the food table at a Christmas party.

Ingredients (makes 16 samosas)

3 spring onions
2 x 2cm chunks fresh root ginger
1 medium potato (about 200g)
½ teaspoon mild curry paste, or to taste
200ml vegetable stock (made from a cube) or water
200g frozen mixed vegetables (from a pack of peas, sweetcorn, diced carrots and green beans)
8 sheets filo pastry, each about 25.5 x 48cm (250g box), thawed if frozen (take out of the fridge but keep in its wrapping so it doesn’t dry out)
3-4 tablespoons rapeseed or vegetable oil, for brushing


  1. Put the spring onions on the chopping board and carefully trim off the hairy roots ends and the dark green coarse tops.  Rinse the onions under the tap to get rid of any grit and dirt.  Give them a good shake in the sink so they are not too wet, then slice them into rounds about 3mm thick.  Push them to one side of the board.
  2. Use a small spoon to scrape the beige peel off the root ginger so you can see the yellow inside.  Carefully grate the ginger onto the board using the fine-hole side of the grater.  Push to the side with the onions.  Peel the potato, then cut it on the board into 1cm chunks.
  3. Put the spring onions, ginger and potato into the frying pan.  Add the curry paste and stock or water, then set the pan over medium heat and stir gently with a wooden spoon until the mixture starts to boil.  Turn down the heat so the liquid is just boiling gently with tiny bubbles (this is “simmering”) and cook for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
  4. Carefully lift the pan off the heat and set it on a heatproof surface.  Wait for the bubbling to stop, then gently add the frozen vegetables and stir them in to mix.  Return the pan to the heat and bring back to the boil.
  5. Cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables feel soft when you prod them with the wooden and all the liquid has evaporated.  If the vegetables still feel hard or you can see liquid in the pan, cook for 2-3 more minutes.  Once the vegetables are soft and look fairly dry, remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius / 400 degrees Fahrenheit/ gas mark 6.  When the vegetable mix is cold, taste a small amount on a teaspoon.  If you think it needs more spice, stir in ¼ teaspoon more curry paste (or you could add a few grinds of black pepper).
  7. Carefully unwrap the filo on a clean worktop.  Have the vegetable filling close by.  Peel off the top sheet of filo and lay it in front of you (cover the rest of the filo with a clean and slightly damp tea towel or a large sheet of clingfilm so it doesn’t dry out).  Brush the filo sheet very lightly with oil, then cut it lengthways into 3 long strips using kitchen scissors (take care as filo tears easily).
  8. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the mixture in a heap near the top of one strip, leaving about 2cm of pastry uncovered at the top and on either side.  Fold the pastry strip into a triangle: take the top right hand corner and fold it down diagonally to the left so it covers the filling.  Push in any escaped vegetables then take the point at the top left and fold it down diagonally to the right.  Keep folding the pastry over like this until you get to the bottom of the strip of filo.
  9. Set the triangle on the prepared baking sheet and lightly brush with oil.  Fill and fold the other 2 strips in the same way, continuing until all the filo and vegetables have been used.
  10. Place in the heated oven and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown.  Wearing oven gloves, remove the sheet from the oven and set on a heatproof surface.  Leave to cool for 5 minutes.  Eat warm as soon as possible.

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