Thursday, August 5, 2010

Potato, Cauliflower & Fava Bean Samosas with Spicy Chickpeas

whole wheat, potato-cauliflower-fava samosas w/ chutney and curried chickpeas

ADHOC Correction: The dish is called Samosa Chaat! Thanks Anu!

I've been thinking about this meal ever since I had something similar at restaurant about a week and a half ago while on a work outing.  The dish was called Samosa Chaat, and it consisted of samosas covered in spicy chickpeas and garnished with coriander sauce,  chopped onion, and tomato.

One of my work colleagues explained that the curried chickpeas are called chole, and are often served with fried bread, such as bhatura or pooris. But when the chickpeas are topped with fresh onion and tomato and served with samosas, it becomes a 'chaat'.  She explained that this type of dish is typical street food. I'm not sure whether it's specific to a certain region (I'll have to ask her tomorrow, now that I think of it.)  At any rate, the restaurant we were at, as most around here tend to, focuses on cuisine from northern regions of India.

potato, cauliflower, fava bean filling

Here's my version of Samosa Chaat:

Potato-Cauliflower-Fava Samosa Filling 
(Enough for 8 good-sized samosas with some leftover)

2-3 medium potatoes, quartered (if they are organic, I don't bother peeling them)
1/2 head cauliflower, divided into chunks
1 cup fava beans (blanched & deskinned) or peas
1 tablespoon olive oil (or whatever you like to saute with)
1 medium onion, diced fine
1 hot chili pepper of choice, diced fine (or to taste) (I used a Thai green chili)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped (or try green coriander seed)
salt to taste
generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice to taste

Boil the  potatoes and cauliflower until tender.  While these are boiling,  saute the onions until they begin to aromatize, add in the ginger, chili, cumin, turmeric, and garam masala and continue to saute for another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.

When the potatoes and cauliflower are tender, drain and mash. (I usually leave a little bit of the cooking water in to incorporate as liquid for the mash.) Stir in the onion/spice mixture, favas/peas, and the fresh cilantro. Add salt and fresh lemon juice to taste.

Now, for the dough...I'm not saying this is authentic or anything, but this is how I put it together. 

Whole Wheat Samosa Dough
(Enough for 8 samosas)

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
~ 1/4 cup olive oil (scant)
1/4 - 1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Add in the oil slowly and combine with flour until it turns into a coarse bread crumb-like texture. Add water in a little at a time just until the dough comes together and you can form a ball.

On a floured surface, divide the dough into 4 equal portions and roll each portion into an 8" oblong piece. Cut the dough lengthwise and dollop a couple of generous tablespoons of the filling in the center. Fold each half of the dough in towards the center:

Form a seal by crimping the edges with your fingers or fork, etc.

It's traditional to fry samosas, but in attempt to make these a little less caloric (it is swimsuit season afterall) I baked them instead. They would be super delicious fried as you may imagine.

Because, I was baking them, I brushed them with a little soy milk just makes for a nicer finish on the crust. They baked at 350 F for about 25-30 minutes.

The chickpeas are next. Any type of curried thing I make usually turns out ok...but not deliciously tasty like authentic curries. Learning how to make authentic Indian curries and other dishes is something that I really want to work on. I'm hoping that maybe my work colleague will help me out with that.

I'm sort of abashed that my co-worker might be reading this...I'm sure it's nothing like the real deal...but here's what I did with the chickpeas:

Spicy Chickpeas

2 cups cooked chickpeas
1.5 cups strained tomato passata (or use chopped fresh ones)
1-2  cups water (depending on desired consistency)
1 medium  onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 hot green chili pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Earth Balance
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
salt to taste
fresh cilantro and red onion to garnish

Saute the onion, garlic, and chili pepper until it becomes a little tender, add in all spices and saute for another few minutes. Add the tomatoes, water, and chickpeas and allow to simmer for 30 - 40 minutes, or until the desired consistency is reached. Add salt to taste.  Garnish with cilantro and chopped red onion.

This meal was devoured with some peach and apple chutney and a tomato and cucumber salad. Samosa chaat gets a big thumbs up in my book.

Roseann LaPonte
Rosanne Tobin


  1. Rose, I am speechless, that just looks sooooooo good! Those chickpeas, especially! I wish I had someone who could really school me in Indian food, too. Nice!

  2. I love getting inspiration from restaurant meals too. Yours looks great.

    Having an Indian friend in college did wonders for my cooking as well though now I don't use the amount of fat they do to cook. One of the main tricks is to use both whole and ground spices that are added at different times into the recipe.

    Happy Friday,

  3. I absolutely adore eating samosas. I am hoping my mother will make me some very similar to yours where the pastry is made form scratch. Im rather lazy and make mine with filo pastry. I've eaten many samosas in my time, with a variety of fillings including vegetarian haggis but not one with fava beans, which I admit I really like the sound of, a nice change from peas. The accompanying chutney looks really good too. Gosh I wish I could eat one.

  4. All your food looks delicious. I hope you are able to get some tips for making Indian food, but it seems whenever we eat anything, we put a twist on it. Striving for authenticity is often fruitless, but it can help you get some flavors down. I bet your interpretation is just fine - it certainly looks delicious!

    I love the process photos, too. That really helps when you're showing off something new.

  5. You make it look so simple. I love the way the inside of the samosas are green. I'm sure it tasted better than 'authentic' because I find most Indian food in restaurants is too fatty and salty.

  6. Stacy,

    Thanks for the encouragement...I hope I can get some tips from my colleague too.


    The version we had in the restaurant was way too salty, so I didn't really eat much of it, but the combo of samosas and chickpeas just sounded so delicious I had to have a go myself.


    I'm sure your mom's samosas are much yummier than mine! I was wondering whether or not to add some baking powder for a bit of leavening (?) I'd love to hear about your mom's recipe. I hope she makes some for you soon.

    Using filo dough is a great idea...I think I'll have to try that next.


    I agree about everyone giving their own twist to food, and you put it so well about striving for authenticity. In our family, we have a tomato sauce recipe that my mom taught all of us to make, but each of our versions tastes a little different.


    I liked the funny color of the filling too. :) I can go with food being "fatty", but I agree, too salty is a turn off.

  7. Samosas are one of my favorites! I've actually been dying to make some myself but haven't gotten around to it. Good idea buying the premaid chutney too to save a little time. Way to go!

  8. This all looks great, especially (to my eyes) the spicy chickpeas. Weird as it sounds, I'm looking forward to the fall and winter as I do every year so I can start making stews and things...India's so *hot*...but all I want right now is smoothies and chocolate malts. Luckily for me I live in northern Canada so I'll get my wish! Gorgeous meal beautifully put together, as usual!

  9. Carissa,

    I make samosas or bhajis probably once or twice a year only, but I should make them more often. That chutney has been sitting around in my fridge for I thought I might as well use it up. Again, I love chutney, but it's not something I eat that often for some reason.


    I know what you mean about fall/winter. Fall is absolutely my favorite time of year in the kitchen...things are getting cozy, cool nights, and hearty meals...and harvest veggies abound.

  10. Hi, Rose! You've been enjoying making little stuffed pillows of food lately! :-) You sure do know how to put on a spread, it's a wonder you're not a caterer for some posh place! Your culinary creations have me in awe every time.

    I can't imagine your colleague won't be delighted to teach you authentic Indian cooking and will be a wonderful resource for you. But since your samoas and spicy chickpeas were so pretty and tasty and scored a big "thumbs up," I think authenticity is superfluous! ;-)

    I agree with you about fall cooking (winter too) - my time in the kitchen is minimal in summer, and I almost never use my oven. So it's always fun to dig out my favorite stew, soup, muffin, etc recipes when the first frost hits the melons! :-)

    Happy weekend!

  11. Those look great. I am always happy to see the pictures of the process. It is nice to have that comparison as you are reading/cooking.

    You have earned the Happy 101 award, stop by my page and claim it!

  12. I need to experiment more with Indian food. What an amazing feast you have there!

  13. I can't believe I've only just stumbled upon your blog! You have so many wonderful recipes and photo's of your meals.
    Your Samosa's and Spicy Chickpeas looks so delicious! I will be trying them for sure.

  14. I love samosas but don't like to order them in restaurants because they're deep fried. Yours look like a good alternative. The whole meal, in fact, looks terrific.

  15. Laurie,

    You always say the nicest things...I could go with doing some would certainly be more fun than my current job-hands down...I just have to make sure all my customers are as nice as you!

    It's raining here today (hasn't rained in 6 weeks or so) and temps are cooler, so I'm starting to feel that fall cooking drive...I'll definitely be spending some time in the kitchen to day with the oven on!


    Thanks for your kind words...and thanks for the award! I'll be posting it soon!


    Thanks! I'm with you, I want to focus on learning more about it too! I'm sure your ventures into it will be delicious.

    Dreamin' It Vegan,

    Thanks for stopping by and for your nice comment. I'll be checking your blog out really soon.


    Baking these works really well. The next time, I think I'll add a little leavening. The whole meal pastry flour is really easy to work with too.

    Have a good weekend everyone!

  16. Rose, you'd be an amazing caterer!! You could do a little on the side and see how it goes! If your customers don't start out full of sweetness and light and compliments, they'll morph into that after the first bite of your food, betcha! :-)

    Oh, and a thousand pardons... when you posted about samoas, I called them samosas. Now that you've posted about samosas, I dropped an s and called them samoas. *sigh* I'd better get that stuff straight when I become a food critic for the SPI so I can write your catering review! ;-)

    Enjoy the cool rain and your kitchen. You could cook your food in a solar oven here today (or maybe just on a flat rock!) It's hot-hot-hot and dry-dry-dry and we switched from outdoor projects to indoor ones. No ovens for this kid till this evening - if then!

    P.S. Ha - the Captcha elves strike again with their uncanny sense of humor and timing - my Captcha word was "ovene!" :-)

  17. Laurie,

    I'll keep the catering thing in mind. :)

    Did I post about samoas? I'm not sure...but either way, "you say samosa," "I say samoa" know the rest...LOL

    Our weathers couldn't be more opposite: it's wet, wet, wet, and cool, cool, cool. But those captcha elves knew what they were talking about: I'm just getting ready for fire up the

    Enjoy the summer weather and stay cool.

  18. thanks for showing how the samosas are folded, also for the quick Indian language lesson at the begining of the post. this bread looks like it came out crispy and light..very eye candy-licious:) its not just me thats been into curry lately!
    sorry to be mia lately, went to ca and then my computer died(the BIG die) but i am back now and looking forward to your fun posts

    m + lilly:)

  19. Rose, these look great. I love how hearty they appear, like the whole meal would be very satisfying. And, I'm sure your co-worker is proud of you.

  20. Michelle and Lilly:

    Hi! Good to hear from you!

    Language lesson, hee-hee...I'm not sure which language it is though. :)

    I saw your post about the your trip to CA and that your computer died. Bummer! I hope you had fun in CA that you got to Whole Foods!

    Glad to have you back...I'm looking forward to your fun posts too!


    Thanks for your nice comment. This was a fairly hearty meal...the whole wheat was a nice change and I think it worked well with baking them. I think I'd add a little leavening next time :)

  21. You've got me craving Indian food. I don't think I've ever made it from scratch myself. Beautiful pics, as usual.

  22. Jenny,

    I always start to crave Indian food when I see pics of it too! Smelling it is even better; I went to an Indian restaurant for a quick work break, and wasn't going to order anything except a lemonade...but when I smelled the gorgeous aromas and spices...I had to order something even though I wasn't particularly hungry.

  23. Good Information. Thank you for sharing and I want to share information about Tandoori Chef which is An authentic North Indian, fine dining restaurant, Tandoori Chef offers Hackensack and the surrounding area a wonderful taste of Indian cuisine.


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