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Burmese Potato Samosas

Burmese Potato Samosas

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Filling:
1 ½ pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
½ cup frozen peas
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon hot paprika
½ teaspoon ground Thai chili
1 ½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coriander seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
Juice from ½ lemon
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Dough:
2 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ajwain seeds
6 tablespoons butter
9 tablespoons water
vegetable oil for frying

These yummy little potato stuffed samosas are the Burmese take on a savory filled pastry. A popular offering of street food vendors in Yangon, Burmese potato samosas are tasty little treats that make a delightful appetizer (or appetite spoiler, depending on how much restraint you practice). You can serve with chutney or your favorite dipping sauce. This is a sharing food, so bring to parties, potlucks and get-togethers. You’ll be thoroughly appreciated and forever after tasked with making “those spicy little pastry wedges.”

Making the dough

Peel the potatoes and cut into 1 inch cubes.

In a medium saucepan, boil the water, then add the potatoes. Boil the potatoes until tender (about 10 – 15 minutes). Drain the potatoes and run them under gently running cold water. Set aside to cool.

Soften the butter if necessary by placing it in a microwave safe bowl or glass and cooking for 3 – 5 seconds. Set aside.

Into a medium bowl, combine the following:
flour
salt
baking powder
ajwain

Mix all of the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Add the butter slowly while continuing to mix. Mix in the water in small amounts at a time, just until you can form a ball with the dough. The dough should not stick to sides of bowl.

Transfer the dough to a working surface dusted with flour. Using your hands, knead the dough for 3 – 5 minutes. Cover with a clean kitchen towel that has been dampened, and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.

Making the filling

Juice half a lemon and set the juice aside.
Peel and finely chop the garlic and onions.
Measure the coriander and cumin seeds into a mortar and pestle and grind them just until crushed.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high, then add the following:
garam masala
turmeric
paprika
ground Thai chili
coriander
cumin

Stir-fry the seasonings for about 30 – 40 seconds, or until they become fragrant.

Add into your skillet the following ingredients:
potatoes
peas
garlic
onion

Continue cooking around 5 more minutes, or until the onions are soft and potatoes are a light golden brown. Turn off the heat and transfer the filling mixture to a heatproof bowl. Pour the lemon juice over the top.

Gently stir the mixture. It’s okay if some of the mixture mashes in the process. Allow your mixture to cool.

Forming samosas

Move the dough back to your lightly dusted surface, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and use your hands to form dough pieces into balls. Place a small bowl of room temperature water next to your working surface. Roll the balls into 6” flat discs. Cut the discs in half and lightly wet the straight edges with the tip of your finger dipped in the water.

Pull the corners of the straight edge up to overlap and form a cone shape. Use your fingers to pinch the overlapped edges together, forming a seal. Scoop 1 tablespoon filling into the center. Lightly wet the top edge of the cone, then press the top edges together to form a seal.

Use your thumb and forefinger to fold down small (1/4 inch) sections of the top edge, creating an extra pleated seam to seal in the filling.

Set the filled dough aside and repeat this process with the remaining mixture and half discs.

Frying Burmese potato samosas

Into a medium saucepan, pour 2 – 3 inches of vegetable oil. Heat the oil over medium-high until it reaches the temperature of 360 degrees F. Carefully lower a few samosas into your heated oil at a time and fry about 1 minute per side (or until golden brown on both sides).

Remove the samosas from the oil and set them aside on a paper towel lined plat to drain off any excess oil.

Serve Burmese potato samosas warm with your favorite chutney or other dipping sauce.

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Burmese Potato Samosas
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