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.
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
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
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
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
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
skins on keeps the potato flesh nice and dry.
2. Roughly chop the potatoes into a large mixing bowl, no need
3. Add the peas to a pan of boiling water and simmer gently until
Only about 3 minutes for frozen peas. Drain and add to the
4. Place 20ml (1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) of oil into a frying
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
are consistent. Do not mix oils.
5. Once the oil is heated, add the onions and then, after 30
add the cumin seeds.
6. Gently fry the onions until they are translucent and the brown
of the cumin seeds has slightly rubbed off onto the onions.
should not be golden but still white, just softened and
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
mashing the potato but not too much as you still want small
potato and not a smooth paste. Cover and leave to cool in the
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
a large mixing bowl with a pinch of salt.
10. Using the same type of oil again, add 1 tablespoon plus ½
of oil to the flour. Mix with fingers and combine to a dough
water. Do not make the dough too soft. Add the water by
hand under the cold tap and catching a few drops in your
instead of pouring water in, to ensure that you do not add too
end up with a sticky mess. Add water like this until you see
coming together into one singular mass. Then knead well with
until the dough no longer sticks to your hands and just comes
5-10 minutes, until no longer sticky but smooth. Cover and
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,
cover with kitchen roll if making sooner.
11. Mix 130g/1 cup of plain flour in a bowl with enough cold water
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
12. Make sure you have everything to hand as timing is important
will not have time to be fiddling around in a drawer looking
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
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
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
Place flat on the work surface. Using the teaspoon or a
spread ½ teaspoon of the oil on the surface of the disc and
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
15. Dip both sides of the round in the flour, shaking off excess,
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
in it. It needs to be flat and even so that it splits
16. Pat off excess flour and place on the thawa. Cook for 3
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
slowly and carefully, peel the two layers apart of each half.
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
they are covered in the tea towel so they don't dry out.
18. Take one of the semicircles of pastry (keeping the rest
needed) and, with the side that looks most cooked facing
using your middle finger, put some of the 'glue' all around
This border of glue should be about an inch wide. Lift up the
with the straight edge facing upwards and fold the outer left
down towards the middle of the curved edge (but do not let it
curved edge). Bring the right hand corner down and seal where
meet, overlapping slightly. You should be holding an
19. Turn the cone the right way up and, holding it gently and
the ends at the bottom to a neat point, fill with the potato
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
over a little more glue if necessary. Gently pat to even out
inside. Place on a tray while filling the others.
20. When they are all filled, heat the oil until a little bit of
rises to the surface almost immediately when it is dropped in.
a few samose but do not crowd. Deep fry, cooking in batches of
four at a time, until golden brown and crisp, turning over
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.