Cooking Like Mummyji by Vicky Bhogal

Cooking Like Mummyji: Real Indian Food from the Family Home by Vicky Bhogal is a reissue of the author's popular book previously released in 2003. This edition captures the warmth and vibrancy of Indian home cooking in beautiful photographs and recipes. Indian cuisine is one of my favorites - the soul warming spices, the depth of flavors and varieties of textures from a crispy pakore or samosa to the creaminess of a curry. 

Vicky Bhogal was not on my radar until I learned of this title (don't take away my cookbook lover card). Since then I have tracked down all her books and am enjoying reading them. Cooking Like Mummyji is my favorite of the lot. The author's stories before each recipe are enjoyable and the recipes are approachable to someone new to Indian cuisine and desirable for others who are well versed.

I chose the Samose recipe to share with you even those the book doesn't have an image of the completed crispy pillows of potatoes, peas and spices. There is an illustration to help with forming the samose. I decided to take some time for myself and make them - nothing better than a hot, crunchy shell filled with earthy flavors and spices. Special thanks to Grub Street for allowing us to share this recipe with you. Please be sure to head over to our contest post to enter our giveaway for a chance at one of five copies of this book open to US and UK members. 



Makes 12
4 whole, unpeeled large potatoes
200g/1½ cups peas, frozen are fine
Oil, for deep-frying and making dough, I use rapeseed
1 large onion, halved, halved again lengthways and then sliced thinly widthways
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon garam masala
A handful of chopped fresh coriander
2 green chillies, chopped finely
520g/4 cups plain flour
1. Place the whole potatoes with skin on in a pan of cold water, bring to
the boil and cook until soft (check by prodding with a sharp knife). Drain
and rinse the potatoes in cold water then pat dry. Peel the skin off with
a knife and remove any darkened areas of potato. Boiling them with the
skins on keeps the potato flesh nice and dry.
2. Roughly chop the potatoes into a large mixing bowl, no need to be

3. Add the peas to a pan of boiling water and simmer gently until cooked.
Only about 3 minutes for frozen peas. Drain and add to the potatoes.

4. Place 20ml (1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) of oil into a frying pan. This
part is extremely important - make sure that you use the same type of oil
for this part that you deep fry them in, so that the textures and flavours
are consistent. Do not mix oils.

5. Once the oil is heated, add the onions and then, after 30 seconds,
add the cumin seeds.

6. Gently fry the onions until they are translucent and the brown colour
of the cumin seeds has slightly rubbed off onto the onions. The onions
should not be golden but still white, just softened and translucent. Add
the onions to the potatoes and peas.

7. Now add the salt, garam masala, coriander and chillies.

8. Mix with a fork to blend all the ingredients together, very lightly
mashing the potato but not too much as you still want small pieces of
potato and not a smooth paste. Cover and leave to cool in the fridge for
at least 30 minutes. A couple of hours would be ideal.

9. Now make the pastry. Take 195g/1½ cups of plain flour and place in
a large mixing bowl with a pinch of salt.

10. Using the same type of oil again, add 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon
of oil to the flour. Mix with fingers and combine to a dough with cold
water. Do not make the dough too soft. Add the water by running your
hand under the cold tap and catching a few drops in your cupped hand,
instead of pouring water in, to ensure that you do not add too much and
end up with a sticky mess. Add water like this until you see the dough
coming together into one singular mass. Then knead well with wet hands
until the dough no longer sticks to your hands and just comes away, about
5-10 minutes, until no longer sticky but smooth. Cover and refrigerate
for at least 15 minutes (place in a container and cover with a lid if you
are planning to make the samose in more than 15 minutes time, or just
cover with kitchen roll if making sooner.

11. Mix 130g/1 cup of plain flour in a bowl with enough cold water to
make a thick, sticky paste. Try to get the lumps out but do not make it too
thick or too runny. This will be your glue to hold the samose together.

12. Make sure you have everything to hand as timing is important and you
will not have time to be fiddling around in a drawer looking for things.
Rinse the thawa and place on a very low heat. Take the dough out of the
fridge and place the container on the worktop next to the thawa. Place
next to it 2 tablespoons of oil in a little bowl with a teaspoon in it. Place a
clean tea towel that has been folded in half on a plate. Have a small, sharp
knife such as a paring knife to hand. Put the remaining plain flour on a
large plate or chopping board. Have a large plate ready.

13. Take two ping-pong-sized balls of the dough. Dip them both in the
flour and roll out to the size of saucers, making sure they are the same size.

14. Take one of the discs and dip in the flour, shaking off the excess.
Place flat on the work surface. Using the teaspoon or a measuring spoon,
spread ½ teaspoon of the oil on the surface of the disc and sprinkle with
a little of the flour (about 1 teaspoon). Place the other disc on top and
lightly press the edges flat to seal. Turn over and press again.

15. Dip both sides of the round in the flour, shaking off excess, and roll
out to the size of a pancake. Keep dipping in the flour if necessary - it
mustn't stick. The pastry must be very smooth and cannot have any creases
in it. It needs to be flat and even so that it splits cleanly.

16. Pat off excess flour and place on the thawa. Cook for 3 seconds on
each side and then transfer to the plate. Fold in half and cut a tiny slit at
the halfway mark on the edge. Open out and cut the circle in half. Very
slowly and carefully, peel the two layers apart of each half. You should
be left with four semicircles of pastry. Open the tea towel and place the
pastry immediately on the tea towel on the plate, covering with the other
half of the tea towel to keep warm.

17. Repeat the pastry process until you have 12 semicircles. Make sure
they are covered in the tea towel so they don't dry out.

18. Take one of the semicircles of pastry (keeping the rest covered until
needed) and, with the side that looks most cooked facing upwards and
using your middle finger, put some of the 'glue' all around the edges.
This border of glue should be about an inch wide. Lift up the semicircle
with the straight edge facing upwards and fold the outer left hand corner
down towards the middle of the curved edge (but do not let it touch the
curved edge). Bring the right hand corner down and seal where they both
meet, overlapping slightly. You should be holding an upside-down cone.

19. Turn the cone the right way up and, holding it gently and squeezing
the ends at the bottom to a neat point, fill with the potato mixture (but
not right to the top, leave about an inch). Seal the curved edges at the top
by pressing together with your fingers so that the line where the samosa is
sealed runs straight down the middle of the triangle like a seam, patting
over a little more glue if necessary. Gently pat to even out the mixture
inside. Place on a tray while filling the others.

20. When they are all filled, heat the oil until a little bit of the pastry
rises to the surface almost immediately when it is dropped in. Gently add
a few samose but do not crowd. Deep fry, cooking in batches of three or
four at a time, until golden brown and crisp, turning over frequently so
they cook evenly. Drain on kitchen paper and serve.

Recipe courtesy of the author and Grub Street Publishing. Photograph of the Samose by Jenny Hartin.



  • Hihelen  on  2/19/2017 at 1:39 PM

    It's got to be the vegetable biryani!!!

  • Mrs. L  on  2/21/2017 at 3:44 PM

    I'd love to see a video of the way she wets her hands in the faucet to make the dough.

  • comestible  on  2/23/2017 at 7:44 AM

    Spiced Lime Cooler in the backyard this summer.

  • FrenchCreekBaker  on  3/14/2017 at 10:12 PM

    Saffron pistachio rasamalai

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