A sweet and savory take on the Indian samosas, these pastries are stuffed with apples and raisins.
By Nik Sharma
Sweet and spicy is the theme of this savory delight. These samosas are absolutely delicious but I am still unsure as to whether they would fit into an appetizer or dessert category, so they are filed under both categories. If you do have a suggestion on this please let me know. Almost every country has its own stuffed baked or fried pastry and samosas are probably the most famous of Indian pastries, if you have tried Indian food you must have tasted a vegetable or meat samosa at some point. Vegetarian varieties normally include a filling of potatoes or lentils and the non-vegetarian options include some type of ground meat. Samosas are very similar to the Sambusas of Ethiopian food and Spanish empanadas. The delicately delicious Greek Spanakopitas appear similar in shape and concept to the samosa but differ in the type of pastry used to create the flaky crust. Phyllo sheets are used to create the Greek stuffed pastries but the Indian samosa relies on temperature to create the flaky texture of the dough.
- For the Pastry dough
- 11/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons (90ml) vegetable oil or shortening
- 10 tablespoons (150ml) water
- For the filling
- 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced into ½ inch cubes
- ¼ cup golden raisins or sultanas
- ½ teaspoon black sea salt
- ½ teaspoon dried ginger powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn flour
- juice of half a lemon
- 4 tablespoons (60ml) vegetable oil
- Knead all the ingredients of the dough till it comes together in a large ball. You might need to add more water depending on the flour and humidity.
- Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 30minutes. At this point the pastry can be stored for up to a day ahead and made the next day.
- For the filling
- In a mixing bowl, toss together the apples, raisins, lemon juice, cornflour, sugar and the spices. Fold gently and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
- This can also be prepared a day ahead and left covered with cling film and stored overnight in the refrigerator.
- Preparing the samosas
- Spread some flour out on a clean and dry surface. Using the palms of your hands, roll out ½ inch balls. With a rolling pin, flatten the ball out into a thin circle and using a very little flour when you roll them out.
- The edges of the pastry do not need to be perfect because you will fold them over each other. With a flat knife create two semicircles from the large pastry circle.
- Take one pastry semicircle and make a cone by the folding the center of the semicircle along the length of the diameter. Seal the ends of the pastry with water.
- Fill the pastry cone with the apple filling and fold the open ends of the cone over each other and seal with water.
- Heat the oil in a pan on a medium flame.
- Sear each side of the samosa for about 1 minute and then transfer to a baking sheet prelined with parchment paper.
- Bake the samosas in an oven at 350F for about 30 minutes or till completely golden and crispy.
Nik Sharma is the cook, author and photographer behind "A Brown Table" and currently resides in Washington D.C. He is a self-taught cook that is constantly trying to infuse "exotic" spices and ingredients by learning different cooking techniques in day-to-day meals with the motto of keeping all cooking methods fun, simple and useful.