Reprinted with permission from A Spicy Touch by Noorbanu Nimji and Karen Anderson
Time: A few hours plus thawing time for the wrappers | Yield: 36 samosas
- Stock up on spring roll wrappers and keep them in your freezer to pull out and thaw in the fridge overnight when you want to make a batch.
- Make your meat filling a day ahead—you’ll be glad you broke up the work involved in this recipe.
- Use a very sharp knife to finely cut the onions. Avoid any blunt chopping strokes that press on the onion and cause them to release their water.
- Keep all of the pastry—after cutting and separating it—covered in between damp kitchen cloths. Otherwise, it will dry out too quickly to work with.
- Gather a friend to help.
- Reward yourselves by frying up a few of these delectable treats before you tuck the batch into the freezer for future use.
- Always fry from frozen; don’t thaw first.
To Make the Beef Filling:
- 2¼ lbs lean ground beef
- 4 Tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Paste
- 1 teaspoon Ginger Paste
- 1 teaspoon Green Chilli Paste or Sambal Oelek
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Indian chilli powder
- 2 cups finely cut yellow onion
- 1 cup finely cut green onion (cut in ½ lengthwise first)
- ½ cup finely cut coriander leaves
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
- Salt to taste
- 1 (or more) seeded and finely cut jalapeño (optional)
- Put the ground beef in a colander and remove any visible blood from the exterior of the meat by rinsing it briefly under cold running water. (Removing visible blood helps achieve a fine crumbled texture and a more enjoyable samosa filling.)
- Heat a large wok on medium heat and add the ground beef with the 4 Tablespoons of water.
- Stir continuously, breaking up the meat, until evenly browned and finely crumbled.
- Drain the meat (if any oil accumulates) and return to the pan with the salt, ginger, garlic and chilli pastes, lemon juice, turmeric, cumin, and Indian chilli powder. Stir until the meat is coated and dry. Tip: It is very important to get the meat dry, as any moisture will make the wrappers too soggy to work with.
- Cool the mixture completely and add the yellow and green onions, coriander leaves
- and Garam Masala. Tip: It is important to wait until the meat mix is cool so that it does not pull the water out of the onion and coriander.
- Adjust the salt and, if desired, add the optional jalapeño. Keep in mind that the pastry wrappers tone down the overall spiciness of the meat mixture.
Noorbanu Nimji was an East African Ismaili Muslim with ancestral roots in Northern India. Her family moved to Canada in 1974. Soon after her arrival in Calgary, Noorbanu was asked to teach cooking to youth in the local Ismaili community. She taught for a decade before beginning to publish her recipes. She self-published three cookbooks prior to beginning the manuscript for A Spicy Touch, with sales of over 250,000 copies. Noorbanu passed away in June 2020.
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Karen Anderson is the owner of Calgary Food Tours Inc. and a columnist for CBC Radio. She is co-author of the guidebook Food Artisans of Alberta. She has led eight tours to India and has cooked with chefs all over the country. Since 2006, she worked with Noorbanu Nimji, testing recipes and teaching Indian cooking classes.
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Reprinted with permission from A Spicy Touch by Noorbanu Nimji and Karen Anderson, 2020 TouchWood Editions. Copyright © 2020 by Noorbanu Nimji and Karen Anderson