On the menu

Recipe: Potato samosas

Samosas are a fabulous picnic food - hot, warm or cold: they’re sensational whatever the temperature

Samosas are a fabulous picnic food, and they’re even better when you make your own, say Max Halley and Ben Benton. Eat these ones hot, warm or cold: they’re sensational whatever the temperature.

Makes 20 samosas

  • 1 x 270g pack of filo pastry
  • about 2 litres of rapeseed (or canola) oil, for deep-frying

For the filling

  • 100g butter (plus 3 tbsp more, melted, for samosa construction)
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 750g waxy potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp salt
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • a handful of mint leaves, torn

Method

  • Start by heating the butter in a large frying pan. Add the onion and fry, stirring occasionally, for ten minutes or until soft and golden. Add the potato and cook for a further 10 minutes, then add the garam masala, cumin, chilli powder, turmeric, salt and lemon juice. Stir to coat and cook for a couple more minutes, then take off the heat and allow to cool. Once cool, add the mint leaves and stir well.
  • To make the samosas, unroll a sheet of filo pastry and place it on a large chopping board. Brush it lightly with melted butter and layer with another sheet of pastry. Cut the sheets into three horizontal strips.
  • You might want to watch a YouTube video of how to roll samosas, but essentially you make a conical shape at one end of the strip of filo, place 1 heaped tablespoon of the filling inside the cone, then fold the open side of the cone into the rest of the filo strip to cover and seal it. Keep folding over the rest of the pastry around the shape of the cone until you come to the end of the strip. Cut off any excess pastry and stick the strip down with a brush of melted butter. Pop the samosa on a tray and repeat.
  • All you need to do now is deep-fry your samosas. Pour the oil into a large, heavy-based saucepan and heat it to 180°C. (If you don’t have a thermometer, test the temperature by dropping a small piece of filo into the oil: it should fizz and turn brown in about 5 seconds. Any quicker, and the oil is too hot; any slower, it’s not hot enough.)
  • Fry the samosas, three at a time, for about three minutes or until golden brown, lifting them out on to a baking tray lined with paper towels to drain.
Max’s Picnic Book: An Ode to the Art of Eating Outdoors

Taken from Max’s Picnic Book: An Ode to the Art of Eating Outdoors by Max Halley and Ben Benton, published by Hardie Grant at £16.99. To buy from The Week Bookshop for £13.99, call 020-3176 3835 or visit theweekbookshop.co.uk.

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