Thursday 10 July 2014

Curry and samosas

The thing about Paul being a contractor, is that every three to six months or thereabouts he is in a new workplace. Navigating new colleagues, new politics, new office culture, new desks, new places to have lunch. Sounds hellish to me, but he is used to it. One of the ways he has figured out to speed up the integration process is talking to the new colleagues about food.

Of course, him talking to colleagues about food tends to result in him coming home and asking me to cook the things they have been talking about.

A couple of weeks ago, it was samosas. Now, we have a bit of marital discord when it comes to samosas. For Paul, a samoosa (sic) is a spicy lamb triangle, wrapped in filo pastry. For me, samosa pastry is sturdier, filled with potato and pea masala and folded into more of a cone shape. To fulfil his request for homemade samosas, we compromised. I made my own flour and water pastry, filled it with spicy keema mattar, and attempted to fold it into triangles. The folding wasn't wildly successful; there is clearly a knack to it that I don't have, but the samosas themselves, served with a tamarind and date dipping sauce, were really delicious.
Then this weekend, the request was for a mutton curry. Or rather, the pronouncement was that he was going to make a mutton curry. Which he did, and very delicious it was too, chilli-hot and thick with freshly ground spices. To accompany it, I made this delicious sweet and sour aubergine dish, Hyderabadi Baingan, which is going just below nasu dengaku on my personal list of the most delectable aubergine dishes in the world.

I also made some garlic and coriander naan-y flatbreads. Normally I use a yeast-raised dough for this sort of flatbread, but as I had some buttermilk left over from the scones of the previous weekend, I decided to make a soda bread. Indian-Irish fusion - the face of modern Britain. I was actually startled by how little difference there was in texture between this and a yeast-raised bread. It was fluffy and elastic and just right for mopping up the turmeric-yellow juices. Of course, several days later my fingernails are still the bright yellow of a habitual smoker, but such is life.


Sonya said...

I mostly agree with your definition of a samosa, but I've also had ones which are like mini-pasties. There are even little plastic contraptions available at Asian groceries to help you fold and shape them perfectly. I have had the triangular flakey-pastry samosas, but I tend to think they're more from SE Asia than India... but wiki might have more wisdom..

leaf (the indolent cook) said...

Heh, I enjoy talking about food with my workmates, too. Also, I think I'm going to have to try that aubergine dish after your ringing endorsement!

Barbara said...

You guys are cooking up a storm! Both dishes look excellent. Folding is tricky...but these look so crunchy and golden, who cares? The dipping sauce sounds delicious.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Sonya - yes, I think Paul grew up on Cape Malay samosas!

Leaf - it's really good. I think you will love it!

Barbara - it was! I can't remember which recipe I used for the sauce though.

grace said...

nice compromise! the samosas look excellent. :)


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