Everyone has it…that flavor, that smell…it takes you back to something. You crave it. For me it is Samosas. To be exact Samoosas from Eastern Delights in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. I had encountered samoosas earlier in my young adult life on a trip to Kenya but nothing like these. I think of the day when I set foot back on that precious Zimbabwean soil. Give me a samosa, give me a bottled Coke. The crunch, the juice, the smell….ahhhh. Mention the name and my mouth craves it. Bite in, savor the flavors, take me back.
What is it about these samoosas? For me it is not solely about the flavors. There is now over a decade of memories stored up around these tiny little bites. Sharing my first weeks getting to know the man I would marry having travelled around the world to meet him only after knowing via the internet for 7 months. My mother-in-law’s funeral, her dear sweet friend learned I loved them and made them specifically for me and then later she sent a package of spices and recipe via another family member to me in the United States. Friends old and new sharing delight in the flavors as we share a meal. When mentioned they too utter with fondness. Watch out you can’t just have one.
That package arrived to our home and yet it sat. Why? It was all in the English metric system? How in the world would I figure it out? Well not to worry on the filling…but the pastry? How? Their flour is not our flour? What do they mean? How do you do this or that? I was not comfortable at all doing this without witnessing first hand someone who knew what they were doing first. Months passed maybe a year. One day I am in the grocery isle and I see them; egg roll wrappers! My head starts turning. Maybe just maybe it might work. The egg roll wrapper is the same type of pastry as the samosas. But how to get that triangle shape? After trial and error a solution was found. Cut the egg roll wrapper in three strips and voila. Now anytime I want to go back they return. More memories to be made and generations to learn and pass on this love.
So you see my friends these samosas are not merely yum. They are my tiny bite of Heaven.
I know you want the recipe right? This is my converted recipe from the copied pages Pearl sent me over 11 years ago.
- 1 lb minced steak or mutton (I use beef)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp crushed garlic (I use about 12 cloves diced or if I have the garlic paste I use that)
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger (I use ginger paste)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
- 2 onions (I typically use 1 large yellow onion)
Wash and drain mince. Braise in until all liquid has evaporated. (I add in 1 – 2 tsp of beef bullion) Stir to prevent sticking and lumps forming. Add salt, cumin, chili powder, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cilantro and onions and braise until well blended and mixture is fairly dry. Remove from heat and allow to cool before filling samoosas.
Forming the little triangles takes a bit of practice.
I will typically put this on the stove when cooking supper the night before and while cleaning/prepping for bed. Then the following day I will form all of my samoosas and fry up in our fryer. If you want to go a bit healthier you can always put them on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven. Just was the outside with a bit of choice oil to create the crisp pastry.
Samoosas Pastry. I don’t make my own. Someday but not now. Instead I use one package of egg roll wrappers and cut the entire package into 3 strips. Typically I will use 2/3s of the strips. With the remaining strips I cut up even smaller strips and will fry up and either use for salad toppings or put cinnamon and sugar on for a snack.