Main, Vegan, Vegetarian

Vegan Samosas

Ever since The Great British Bake Off, I’ve loved the food Nadiya Hussain prepares. On one cookery programme, she made a rather massive samosa pie for a picnic. A lightbulb moment! I’ll make small Samosa Pasties for the Teen the next time she’s home.

I set about devising a pastry and a filling that were both vegan. The idea was to make enough pastry for two pie lids, divide the pastry into 6 pieces, fill them and then crimp them like Cornish Pasties. The image in my head was glorious! The reality somewhat different.

The pastry I came up with was fine. I was a little timid in my treatment of it for fear I might overwork it. With a little patience, I was able to roll it out and curl it over a rolling pin. Making it into individual pasties was, however, a self-deluding pipe (pie?) dream!

Plan B. I took out a tart plate and opted to use that instead. I prepared the pastry and put the whole thing together. I followed Nadiya’s lead of adding turmeric in the pastry. I thought this was important to give it some colour as, being vegan, I wouldn’t be able to egg wash or milk wash the finished offering. I discovered alternatives of using water or almond milk to seal the edges and of using oil or almond milk to wash the lid. I opted for water to seal and oil to wash.

The result? It was lovely and the filling was delicious. The pastry was not the easiest to work with. If I was to opt for a ‘purist’ approach, I would make it again. If I was to opt for an easier approach, and one where the pastry could be shaped into the much desired pasty, I’d go for shop bought since I discovered that Jusrol’s shortcrust, puff and filo pastries are all vegan!

What did I serve it with? A mixed salad and tomato relish. The Teen approved. She liked the filling so much, she said she’d have it as a main or side dish as well.

Ingredients
Pastry
12 ounces, plain flour
8 tablespoons, sunflower oil
4-6 tablespoons, cold water (adjust according to how dry the pastry is)
1 teaspoon, salt
1-2 teaspoons, turmeric
Flour for rolling

Filling
2 tablespoons, sunflower oil
1 teaspoon, coriander seeds
½ teaspoon, fennel seeds
½ teaspoon, fenugreek seeds
¼ teaspoon, mustard seeds
1 tablespoon, freshly grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced finely
1 green chilli, minced finely
1 small onion, minced finely
2 teaspoons, coriander powder
¾ teaspoon, turmeric
½ teaspoon, garam masala
6-7 curry leaves
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut in small cubes
3-4 fluid ounces, water
4 ounces, frozen peas
Sea salt
Sunflower oil to wash the pie lid

Method
1. To make the pastry: place all ingredients in a large bowl
2. Mix together until combined (adjust water as needed)
3. Put onto a floured board and bring it into a pastry ball
4. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes
5. Crush the coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds and mustard seeds
6. Heat the oil, add the seeds and cook for about 1 minute to release the spices
7. Add the onion and cover with the spices
8. Put the lid on the pot and cook slowly until the onion is soft, shaking the pot ever now and again to ensure the mix doesn’t stick or the spices don’t burn
9. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a couple more minutes
10. Add the ground coriander, turmeric, garam masala and curry leaves
11. Add the potatoes, cover with the spiced mix, add 2 fluid ounces of water and place the lid back on the pot (add more water if needed)
12. Cook for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are soft
13. Season with a little salt, add the peas and cook for a further 5 minutes
14. Put aside to cool
15. Back to the pastry: cut into two
16. Roll out piece for the bottom and then one for the lid
17. Fill with the samosa filling
18. Wet the edges with water and seal the edge using a fork
19. Wash the lid with oil
20. Bake at 180 C degrees for 25-30 minutes

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