Samosa aka nightmarish nights at Bombay International Airport

With all my food there’s always a bit of a story or some witty banter or somesuch going on.

Makes it a more like a gripping potboiler with some hints of dark humour and stuff..Not embellished to be fictional but sometimes unbelievable and true.So our tale begins with the ubiquitous and humble samosa which is found anywhere in India . I worked once in a place where we sold the most expensive samosa in all Bombay..and it’s was priced so with good reason .Our restaurant part of the Oberoi airport services , had restaurants in all 3 of the airport terminals, NTB – new terminal building for all domestic private carriers,NDT- new domestic terminal and this was actually a newish building for Indian Airlines domestic flights and NIPT , new international passenger terminal or Sahar airport.

So I was posted there straight out of Oshm/Ocld the finishing school for Oberoi hotels where we went through boot camp of hotel chef life after finishing our Diploma in Hotel management.

So to cut a long story short I was posted to NIPT , the first and only graduate to go there and it was brutal .we would get 45 mins notice and had a to make a meal for 400 hungry passengers whos flight had been delayed.Thats a main meal we are talking about for smaller meals we would be cranking it out in 15-20 mins onwards ..LR ( light refreshment)meant one samosa and one sandwich triangle , so you would say Sheesh that’s easy why this guy is moaning so much. Ok so one night , I and one more commis chef made 1500 Lrs, and the breakfast for 500 . This is a kitchen with antiquated equipment and a walk in freezer which used to be +1-2 C.

I would work only night shifts when it used to busiest and we had two stalwarts who were out samosa production team Madhusudan Biswas ( who passed away unfortunately) and Keshav Ganguly. Approximately 1500 samosa made from scratch day in day out sometimes more..when we crossed the 3000+ mark we would sometimes order these from outside. When I landed there I had no clue what I was getting into..bright eyed and bushy tailed I was and soon had to get down to learning also from the more experienced guys even though technically I was their boss/ supervisor.

All the old guys there who I’m in touch with still remember samosas being cooked at all hours ..freakingly nightmarish..Ok time for a break

Ok Ok Here we go finally

Pastry/ outer cover

Flour -150 g

Whole wheat flour – 75 g

Fine semolina – 25 g

Baking powder-1 g

Ajwain seeds( carom ajowan) acts as an anti flatulent ..a small pinch lightly crushed between your fingers

Salt – approximately 5 g

Oil or fat- 35-40 g

Water – enough to form a semi stiff dough- approximately -125-150 g .This will largely depend on what kind of flour you guys are using.

  • To make the dough you mix all the dry ingredients together very well ( it’s good to sieve the flour also to take out bits of plastic etc ..)
  • Add the oil and 80%of the water and mix lightly .cover the dough and rest for about 15mins.then knead it well and add the water a bit at a time to make your stiff dough.if your dough is too soft won’t get crisp.
  • Then rest again .this has to be rolled out and folded into a conical pyramid shape and then stuffed and then slow fried. A video will explain how that happens .Writing about it just won’t be good enough.

For the filling

  • Potatoes boil and then peel and crush-150 GM’s( 2 medium sized ones)
  • Green peas – 25 g/1 T
  • Onion – 1 chopped /75 g
  • Carrot -1/2 peeled and chopped 40 g
  • Cauliflower – 50 g roughly chopped
  • Coriander sprig- 2 washed and chopped
  • Mint -1 sprig as above.
  • Oil -25 g
  • Cumin -1/4 t
  • Fennel seeds-pinch
  • Coriander powder-1/2 t
  • Turmeric powder-1/4 t
  • Red chilli powder-1/4 t
  • Garam masala powder- pinch best if you make yourself.
  • Lemon juice – 1/4 t
  • Green chillies-1 or as many you can handle
  • Ginger and garlic paste -1/2 t

Heat oil add cumin , saute the onion and then add the rest of the ingredients and saute till all vegetables are cooked . Reserve the herbs and lemon to add right in the end .

The most important bit is that it should be tasty so feel free to play with the ingredients and have fun while doing it..

Also slow fry so gets even shorter texture when U eat..enjoy with some green Coriander chutney or sweet tamarind one