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.
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
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.