Cheese-and-sweetcorn samoosas are something my mom and I make two weeks before Diwali – we make huge batches and freeze them, ready to be fried until golden-brown and crisp for any samoosa emergencies. The sweet and tart tamarind chutney is every savoury platter’s best friend; it pairs well with samoosas, spring rolls and chilli bites.
- For the tamarind chutney:
- 2 cups water, plus an additional ½ cup
- 50 g tamarind paste
- 90 g jaggery (you can also use dark brown sugar)
- 100 g dates, finely chopped
- 1 t chilli powder
- ½ t jeera (cumin) powder
- ½ t fennel powder
- ½ t ginger powder
- ½ t dhania (coriander) powder
- For the samoosas:
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 4 green chillies, finely chopped
- 1 T red chilli flakes
- 1½ t jeera (cumin) seeds
- 1½ t ginger and garlic paste
- 500 g frozen sweetcorn
- Salt, to taste
- 30 g coriander, chopped
- 665 g mature cheddar cheese, grated
- 165 g mozzarella, grated
- 34 g cake flour
- ±25 samoosa pur (pastry), or use phyllo pastry or spring roll pastry
- For the paste:
- 1 cup cake flour
- Water (enough to make a paste)
1. To make the tamarind chutney, add 2 cups of water to a large saucepan on medium to high heat.
2. Add the tamarind paste, jaggery (or dark brown sugar) and finely chopped dates to the saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring every 5 minutes. Cook until the dates are completely soft and mushy – about 15 minutes. I like to use a potato masher to ensure the dates and tamarind have dissolved and the chutney is smooth.
3. Stir in the spices and allow the chutney to simmer gently on low heat for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
4. Add cooled chutney to a blender, pour in ½ cup of room-temperature water, and blend until smooth. Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
5. To make the samoosa filling, heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the onions, green chillies, chilli flakes, cumin seeds, and ginger and garlic paste. Sauté for a minute.
6. Add the frozen sweetcorn and a pinch of salt, mix gently, and allow to cook for a further 15 minutes, until the sweetcorn has browned.
7. Remove from the heat, stir in the chopped coriander and allow the mixture to cool completely.
8. In a separate bowl, mix the grated cheeses, and sprinkle over the cake flour. Toss the cheese in the flour. Add the sweetcorn mixture to the cheeses and mix till combined.
9. Prepare the paste by adding the cake flour to a bowl and mixing in enough water to make a thick paste. If the paste is too runny, add a little more flour to get the correct consistency.
10. To assemble the samoosas, place a pastry wrapper lengthwise on a chopping board. Place a tablespoon of filling at the bottom-left corner, then fold into a triangle, continuing to fold until the pastry fully encases the filling.
11. Spread a little flour paste onto the edges and seal the samoosa. Set aside and continue with the remaining pastry and filling.
12. To fry the samoosas, add vegetable oil to a frying pan, and shallow-fry until golden-brown on each side. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on paper towels, then cool on a cooling rack – this helps to keep the samoosas crispy for longer. Serve with the tamarind chutney or a dipping sauce of your choice.
Photograph: Toby Murphy
Production: Khanya Mzongwana
Food assistant: Thandi Mamacos