The Nenshi Family Samosa Recipe

I JUST realized I never posted this recipe. And it’s one you’ll really want.

Never mind the driving force of social media – word on the street is that the Nenshi family kept Naheed’s team of volunteers in homemade samosas throughout his campaign. His mother, it turns out, is well known for her samosas, and generously agreed to share her recipe via Naheed’s sister, Shaheen. I’ve known Naheed for years (we went to Junior High together) and so a couple days after the election, on arguably the busiest week of his life, I emailed to ask if his mum might share her samosa recipe? Of course he came through.

Then, while we were in New York, he sent recommendations for food, shopping and sight-seeing, tipping us off about a secret burger joint in the lobby of Le Parker Meridien, a swanky New York hotel. And Cafeteria in Chelsea, a very hip restaurant with über fashionable New York hosts -one with a snakeskin eyepatch, even- fantastic food and even a kids’ menu. W had hand-cut fries with truffle oil with his big, made-from scratch chicken fingers and in-house made chocolate ice cream. My point is, he nailed two perfect New York restaurants that had brilliant food while being five-year-old friendly – the guy has good taste, too.

Noorjah’s Samosas

The citric acid (available at Community Natural Foods and other specialty/health food stores as well as many Indian groceries) is used as a souring agent – you could substitute lime juice or amchur powder, which is made from dried unripe mango – both are naturally high in citric acid.

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 tsp. citric acid (optional)
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1/2 tsp. crushed ginger
1/2 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. dhana – jeera mix (coriander and cumin powder)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. crushed green hot pepper
4 long green onions, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 bunch chopped fresh cilantro

Samosa paste:
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. water

1 pkg. samosa or spring roll wrappers, thawed if frozen
canola oil, for cooking

In a large, heavy skillet, cook the ground beef, adding the citric acid and breaking up any lumps. Add all the spices and continue cooking until meat is cooked through. Remove from heat and drain any fat on paper towels. Stir in the onions and cilantro.

In a small dish, stir together the flour and water to form a paste. Fill and fold the samosas. (Note: if you don’t know how to do this, Google it for visuals. Generally you want to fold over the end of a strip of wrapper to form a triangle, form it again to form a pocket, fill the pocket, then keep folding, maintaining the triangle shape, to the end of the wrapper. Use the paste to seal it closed and fill any holes in the tips of the three corners.

In a medium heavy pot, heat a couple inches of oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Fry a few at a time, without crowding the pot, flipping as necessary as they turn brown. Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Serve warm. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen samosas.

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November 11 2010 07:50 am | appetizers

12 Responses to “The Nenshi Family Samosa Recipe”

  1. Jaya on 11 Nov 2010 at 8:23 am #

    Julie, I remember hearing you talk about this on the Eye Opener and I am thrilled to see the recipe! Thanks for sharing. I have to say, the last 4-5 posts have been outlandishly amazing…

  2. Vivian on 11 Nov 2010 at 8:40 am #

    These samosas look scrumptious! Just curious, what kind of chutney accompanies them? Perhaps Noorjah could be persuaded to share that too? Thanks for all the updates from New York.

  3. Laurie in Burnaby on 11 Nov 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    Thank you so much for these! :)
    I must try them. Samosas are one of my favourite snacks.

  4. Robin (Hippo Flambe) on 11 Nov 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    I will haver to try this soon, it looks like it could render all restaurant samosas obsolete.

    Another way to find citric acid is in the Kosher food section where it would be called sour salt. They also sell it at King Arthur Flour and sometimes in the canning section as it can be used to acidify tomatoes when canning.


  5. mmac on 11 Nov 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    Of course, you know Naheed is saying “I’ve known Julie forever …” Celebrity is in the eye of the beholder …

  6. dianne on 12 Nov 2010 at 9:41 am #

    can these be baked, i realize that the yummy taste of fried would be lost, but oh those calories! does 350 degrees for about 20 mins sound good?

  7. Anita on 17 Nov 2010 at 11:28 am #

    Hi Julie – I met Naheed last night at a UofC function. What a great guy. I forgot to mention to him that I was planning on making this recipe this weekend!

  8. Politics in Full Sentences. A Detailed Story of Naheed Nenshi’s Purple Army. « VERY ETHNIC on 18 Oct 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    […] The candidate and his handler cut through an empty industrial area, into a jammed parking lot. “I assume it’s very casual, but one must be ready for anything,” he said giddily. Yesterday he arrived late at a mosque for Friday prayers. “To my untrained ear it sounded like he was prolonging the prayer until I got there.” They now climbed the stairs now to a Hindu temple. It was the last night of the Durga Puja, which was a whir of gold and red—and yes, some purple—saris. There are garlands of fresh flowers. Strong incense. Kids on their parents’ shoulders rang a big bell as they entered. Vettivelu Nallainayagam waited inside. He teaches macro economics at Mount Royal University. He is an earnest man, who has written a book about his contribution to civic discourse in Calgary. “It’s called My Contribution To Civic Discourse In Calgary,” he said. He is most proud of the essay: “’Saying No To Politically Correct Christmas.’” Nallainayagam was going out on a limb for the candidate. People across the city had gone to the end of these tremendous limbs for this campaign. The candidate shook some hands. “I hope you’re having a wonderful Puja,” he said. They were worshipping the Goddess of Learning. This was a reoccurring theme in NE Calgary. Reverence for learning. Education as the equalizer. In such a context, the notion of the candidate, whose rivals had tried to dismiss him as “the professor,” seemed less preposterous. At the feast, his senses seemed heightened, his body language more alert. He popped a samosa, and commended it as the second best he has tasted in NE Calgary. (“My mom, of course, makes the best samosas in Calgary.”) […]

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  11. Nenshi Pie » Dinner With Julie on 15 Jul 2013 at 7:24 pm #

    […] family’s favourite meals is something they call Nenshi pie – made with the filling from his mother’s samosa recipe baked in a pie crust and served with salsa or […]

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