Friday, 1 June 2012

Sweet Twist on an Indian Classic

Last week when I was at home visiting my parents I dragged my Mom to Chapters to look at cookbooks. This is nothing new to her, as I am a bit of a cookbook freak. After almost an hour of looking through every vegan cookbook there I finally decided on one.

This was definitely a good thing, I am pretty sure my mom may have left me in the store if I made her look any longer.

I decided on Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson. This cookbook has 400 recipes from a variety of cultural backgrounds. It is divided up into comprehensive sections, provides suggestions for menu plans and most of the recipes have short ingredients lists. 

Alas, I was not able to try any of the delicious looking recipes until today! With the crummy weather I decided I wanted something hearty and satisfying, but wasn't really in the mood for soup or pasta. While looking through the pages I had flagged I noticed I had all the ingredients on hand for the Baked Sweet Potato and Green Pea Samosas. I love new twists on classic foods so I was up to the challenge. I ended up making a few changes to the recipe from the book to suit my personal tastes and was really happy with the flavour. 

I did however run into a couple problems with this recipe.The amount of dough was not even close to enough for how much filling there was (I have doubled the amount in the recipe below) and the filling was a bit dry (I added water). I didn't have high hopes as I popped these into the oven but decided to take my chances anyways. 

They ended up being delicious! The outside was crispy and crunchy - especially shocking since they were baked! The filling was spicy and very flavorful. 

You will learn as I post more recipes that I have a serious addiction to barbecue sauce. I put it on pretty much anything and everything I can. Naturally I had to try these babies dipped in the sauce, it may not be traditional, but damn was it ever tasty. 

Baked SP & P Samosas
Serves 4

Adapted from Baked Sweet Potato and Green Pea Samosas 
from Vegan Plant

2 cups of unbleached white flour
1/2 cup of water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 large sweet potato washed and cut into quarter inch cubes

1 medium sized cooking onion finely diced
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Heaping 1/2 cup of frozen peas
1 tablespoon garlic, minced (1 small and 1 large clove)
1/2 a teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less if you are a spice weenie)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon water, as needed

Cooking spray

Start by mixing the first 3 ingredients to form a dough. After creating a dough let this sit for half an hour.

While the dough is resting steam the chopped sweet potato until it is tender. I used this handy little guy, but you could use a steamer basket. This is also a good time to preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

 Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Add the onion and cook for a five to seven minutes, until the onion is soft and a bit brown. Next add the peas, garlic, spices and sweet potato to the frying pan and cook until the vegetables are soft and a bit browned. If you are worried the filling is a bit dry add a tablespoon of water. Mash the sweet potatoes a little with the back of the spoon you are using to stir the mixture. You want the potatoes to be a bit mushed, but this is not mashed potatoes! They should still hold their shape. Set this mixture aside.

Flour your counter top and roll out the dough so it is no more than half a centimeter thick. Cut the dough into 16 even triangles. Spoon a bit of the filling into each samosa and fold it in half so that it looks like a triangle. Use water to seal the edges if necessary (mine stuck just by pinching them).

Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and place the samosas on it. Lightly spray the tops of the samosas with the oil as well. 

Cook for 20 minutes.

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