Last Friday, while I was recipe surfing on Pinterest–my favorite pastime between my oldest son’s 7:10am school departure and my youngest children’s 7:40am wake-up call–I came across a delicious-looking Samosa Pie. A click-through landed me at Foodess and a blogger’s tale of driving to Vancouver’s Little India to purchase her weight in samosas only to eat them straight from a greasy paper bag on her drive home. Wait, is this my friend Leanne? Or maybe it’s just a Canadian thing but I can’t count the number of times my Canadian friend has shown up at my door with a greasy bag containing one samosa, maybe two, and a Cheshire Cat grin, “I bought you more but ate them on my way over.”
Well of course, I’ve never been disappointed to receive this rolled-up sack, only thrilled to have some genuine Indian comfort food in my kitchen. For those who are unfamiliar with samosas, they are usually a combination of potato, onion, green chili and peas aggressively seasoned with turmeric and garam masala and wrapped in a fried triangular pastry. They could include lentils, ground beef, chicken or lamb but Leanne and I bond over vegetables so we stick to the vegetarian version. Samosas are generally served with some sort of sweet chutney to balance the spiciness of the filling.
My only complaint about samosas, and here I likely stand alone, is that I am not a big fan of pastry. Give me the filling and plenty of whatever condiment and I am satisfied. In the case of samosas, I concede there does need to be a touch of something crisp to contrast with the soft potato mixture but in my opinion, the pastry to filling ratio is off. Enter Samosa Pie. The name alone suggested to me that there was one layer of pastry, either bottom or top, and filling galore. I needed to know. I needed to explore. Long story short, I showed up at Pilates at 11am smelling like I just got off the train in New Delhi.
Now here is where I am going to lose my Indian friends/readers. I took many liberties with the reinvented recipe that I found on Foodess. You’re probably already thinking, “How can you take the hand-held snack food adored by over 1.2 billion people and turn it into a pie?” but bear with me. I replaced the ground meat with shredded Brussels sprouts (hey, it was 10am and I had sprouts in the fridge) and on a whim decided to add some chopped cashews and dried currants to the filling mix. I doubled the recipe below to make two pies, one for me and the other for Leanne, and topped them with prepared pastry.
Dare I claim that the resulting pie is better than the original triangular morsel? You be the judge.
- 3 Tbls ghee or butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño, deseeded if you want to lessen the heat, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbls garam masala
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 lbs potato, diced
- 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, shredded
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup green peas, frozen
- 1/4 cup raw cashews, chopped
- 1/8 cup dried currants
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
- 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed (or feel free to make your own)
- Chutney (mango, tamarind, etc.), for serving
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Heat ghee or butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until golden, about 20 minutes. Add jalapeño and garlic; cook one minute more.
- Stir in garam masala, turmeric and salt. Stir for a couple of minutes until the spices become fragrant. Add the potatoes, Brussels sprouts and water; cover pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in peas, cashews, currants and cilantro. Taste and add more salt, if necessary.
- Transfer mixture to a 2-qt baking or pie dish and place pastry over the top. Cut a few steam vents and bake until crust is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Serve with a chutney of your choice.
- Every oven is different so watch your pastry. I had to cook mine about 10 minutes longer to get the middle golden but covered my pastry corners in foil to prevent them from burning.
- To shred the Brussels sprouts, trim off the stem end and halve lengthwise. Then cut each half into small horizontal strips.
- This recipe can easily be doubled and the second pie can be frozen prior to baking.