August: Vegan Samosas with Mint Chutney

Samosas originated in the Middle East as early as the 9th century, then spread across Africa and Asia under a variety of names. The pastry dumplings are usually filled with a combination of potatoes, peas, lentils and spices, and are either baked or fried. This recipe comes from chef Melanie daPonte, a vegan personal chef located in Florida who posted these samosas on her blog earlier this summer.

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Recipe: Vegan Samosas with Mint Chutney and Tamarind Glaze

Source: Melanie daPonte, June 2019

Get the recipe here!

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Modifications, Testing and Recommendations: I was apprehensive about a vegan pastry dough, but it turned out better than expected! The curry powder in the dough was a nice touch. The recipe says to mix the dough using the biscuit method, which means that the fats and liquids must be cold before combining with the dry ingredients (usually everything is at room temperature).

Vegetable shortening and vegan butter spread warm up more quickly than butter as they’re handled, so roll out the dough and cut the squares quickly before the dough gets too “elastic.” I had to put the leftover dough back in the fridge (or freezer) while shaping the samosas, otherwise the sides would not stay crimped and would peel open while baking. It could also be because I got the wrong kind of vegan butter, but the dough was already made and there nothing to do but continue onward.

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The recipe calls for 3/4 teaspoons of cold water, although every other pastry dough I’ve seen recommends starting at 1/2 cup and adding tablespoons until it reaches a dough-like consistency. I’m not a professional chef, but 3/4 teaspoon did not look correct when I was mixing the dough, so I kept adding tablespoons of cold water – it probably ended up using about 2/3 cup. I rolled out the dough a little bit thicker, so I had to bake the samosas a few minutes longer until they had a nice golden color on top.

I made too much filling, so I’m going to keep making these samosas until I run out. My roommates are eating them just about as fast as I can make them, and I plan on freezing the leftovers – if there are any!

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