Pair a Samosa with Chai, Pav or Chutney and what you have is happiness! I must say we Indians have very cleverly transitioned from tea time biscuits and cakes to tea time Samosas! Triangular pastry filled with spicy potatoes and peas (sometimes meat), golden fried and served with hot green chutney and sweet tangy tamarind chutney.
Every bite dipped into the condiments explode flavours onto your palate. Absolutely no flavour buds remain untouched. The aroma, the colours, the textures and the flavor altogether form an Indian Potato and Peas Samosa.
Here is an irony! Though Samosa is served all over the world under the tag of Indian Cuisine, it really is not Indian. Only a few hundred years ago, Samosa travelled from the middle-east with Persian kings to India. Abul Fazal Bayhaqi, a Persian king from the 11th century, has mentioned about ‘Sambusak’ in his historical book Tariq-i-Bayhaqi. Sambusak appears in many Arabic cookbooks from around 11th or 12th century. Ibn Batuta, Aamir Khusro mention about Sambusak in their literary works. Sambusak also holds a very special place in Ain-i-Akbari. Sambusaks, however, are not triangular in shape but a semi-circular. A half-moon shaped patty stuffed with meat, raisins, onions and sometimes fruits- then deep fried for adding more satiety. Can we call this Sambusak an ancient forefather of Samosa? Maybe!
Kahani me twist:
Now that we learnt where and how we got this savory pastry, there is yet another irony about its filling. Samosa stuffed with peas, potatoes and spices is the famous and most popular Indian National Vegetarian snack food. The potatoes however are not Indian! They came to us with the Portuguese in 1498 AD or around then! And of course we got our lovely ‘Pav’ too, thanks to them! The Portuguese got potatoes from South America, where is was called Batata or Patata. Only after the British arrived, we learnt how to cook and use this starchy root. So really speaking, Potatoes and Peas Samosa is really not that traditional or old! Quite contemporary I must say!
Many names, royal fame:
Sambusak- Israel and Mediterranean region (filled with meat, onions and feta)
Samsas- Some other parts of middle east
Sambusa- Africa, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt
Singhora- Northeast, Nepal (sweet-savoury filling)
(two variations: Mangsher Singhara- meat and Maccher Singhara- fish)
Luqmi- Hyderabad (onion filling)
Keema Samosa- Andhra (minced meat filling)
Patti Samosa- Mumbai (Poha and onion filling)
So, what can we do with this wonderful foreign born, but a very much Indian item? There are multiple ways to enjoy this.
- Enjoy as is: There are many who love to savor the crispiness of the outer layer, without any added chutneys/dips.
- With green chilies & tamarind chutney: This spicy item tastes even better when had with tangy tamarind chutney, and a piping hot green chili, lightly fried in oil, and rolled in salt.
- Samosa Chat: Once you are ready with the samosas, break them open in a plate, add green chutney, tamarind chutney, curd, and spices. Sprinkle a little coriander on top, and you’re good to go…
What’s your favorite way to eat samosas? Let us know in the comments section. Drop in with some delicious pics of your favorite samosa outlet. And don’t forget to use the hashtags #metime, #femmefiesta and #wooingwednesdays when you comment! Loads of luv to you guys!