Who remembers The Cook and the Chef? I used to love that show.
I started out a real Maggie Beer fan. I mean I really loved her. I have eight of her cookbooks which is not a bad effort. I even have autographed copies of her first two books, Maggie’s Orchard and Maggie’s Farm and, thanks to Maus, an autographed copy of Maggie’s Harvest.
I loved her because she was the first person I was aware of who formulated her recipes to utilise the produce she grew or raised on her property. I loved the idea that you start out with the ingredients then formulate the recipe around them and not the other way around. That idea, which is so ho-hum these days, was novel in 1993 when she published her first book.
Alas, by the time The Cook and the Chef was on TV, I was over Maggie (my heart is hard won). By then, she just annoyed me. I felt the show was “all about Maggie”. But I still religiously watched it and was still able to appreciate her brilliance. It was self evident. It was amazing to watch how she came up with fabulous dishes from what was at hand.
Simon’s food was never my style – his style is more vegetarian Asian fusion but I grew to admire him. I loved his cheeky demeanor. And I loved the fact that he knew Maggie Beer was the star and that was ok by him. He didn’t try to compete. From my perspective, he showed strong self identity and maturity and I admired him deeply. Good on him.
Amazingly, I think I only made one recipe from the 154 episodes and I have made it several times. It is this recipe – Simon’s samosas. Of all the recipes on the show, I have no idea why this one stuck. There were so many I could have made.
For years I have had a stained, much noted, printed copy of this recipe in my recipe file but, for some reason, have never posted it on this blog. Every time I go to make it, I have a little nervous flutter wondering if I will be able to find it. By posting it, I need never worry again.
This recipe appeared on episode 32 (13 September 2006).
I have lots of notes on my copy of the recipe, the most significant being a note to make 1.5 x the dough recipe to have enough for the filling.
As I mentioned in my cheese and spinach triangles post, I made this recipe and my cheese and spinach triangles at Christmas time for an expected influx of visitors that never eventuated. I also mentioned that I doubled the recipes – actually, for this recipe, I doubled the filling and tripled the pastry – this made approximately 36 samosas which is a bloody lot when there are only two of you to eat them. At last, we can move on – they have all gone – now back to the cheese and spinach triangles.
- 2½ cups plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 4 tbs** ghee, melted
- ¾ cup warm water
* From my experience, you need 1.5 x these quantities for the filling amount – 1.5 the recipe will give you enough for 18 samosas.
**These are 20 mil tablespoons.
- 500g starchy potatoes
- 4 tbs** peanut oil
- 300g fresh peas
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tsp ginger, chopped
- 1 tbs **lemon juice
- 1 tbs** chat masala
- 1 large green chilli, chopped
- 1 tbs** cumin seed, whole
- 1 tbs** ground coriander
- 1 tbs** amchoor (mango powder)
- 1 bunch of fresh coriander
- ½ tsp sea salt****
***I find this amount of filling is enough for 18 samosas.
****This seems like a lot of salt but I think you need it. The last time I made these, I halved the salt and it was not enough. Next time, I will stick to the recipe.
- 1 litre vegetable oil for deep frying.
- Sift flour into your mixer bowl.
- Add the salt, then rub in the melted ghee.
- Slowly add the water and kneed the dough in your electric mixer for 3 to 4 minutes or until the dough is nice and smooth and pliable.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and rest in your fridge for one hour.
- Cut dough into about 12 (18* if making 1.5 x the recipe) 17cm equilateral triangles.
- Peel the potatoes, boil until soft then set aside.
- Fry the onions, salt, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander and chilli in the peanut oil.
- Add the peas and the potato and cook until the peas are soft. Bash the potatoes up a bit to ensure there are no large pieces.
- Add the chat masala, amchoor, lemon juice and chopped coriander leaves. Stir to combine.
Making up the samosas
- Wet the sides of the triangle with water.
- Place about one tablespoon of the mixture in the centre.
- Seal the sides to make little triangles.
Cooking the Samosas
- Heat the oil to about 180°C and deep fry the samosas. It won’t take long because the filling has already been cooked – about 4 minutes should be enough.
- Serve with minted yoghurt or fruit chutney or kasundi.