Oh yes, I CAN cook – I am an excellent chef. That’s right, ‘chef’. This should be a gender-neutral term, but has become almost universally attributed to men, with women becoming ‘cooks’ or, worse, ‘good little cooks’.
I’ve never been the kind of mother to do separate meals for my children on a regular basis. This is mostly because it seems like a faff and I’m pretty lazy, but also because “kids’ meals” are often a) rubbish and b) dull. So they mostly eat what grownups eat. I’ve become accustomed to adding hot pepper sauce to my tomato pasta, giving them ‘mince and beans’ instead of chilli (I make it without chillies up to the point where it needs to go in the oven, then put enough for them in a separate glass dish before I add chillies and chilli powder to the bulk) and, inevitably, to disappointment when they reject
me as a mother my food and end up sulking with dry toast.
Anyhow, tonight we’re having Lamb Samosas. I bought a pack of Samosa pastry on a recent trip to a Chinese Supermarket (WOW) and now it’s time to make use of it.
You will need: Oil for deep fat frying (or a deep fat fryer, obv), a large pan with a lid (I’ve used a lidded non-stick wok, although they are somehow wrong and not what wokking is all about)
Ingredients (makes 30+):
- Pack of Lamb Mince
- Pack of Samosa Pastries
- 2 Onions, finely sliced
- 6 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
- 3in Piece of Root Ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 Chillies, finely chopped
- 4 Small Potatoes, peeled and cut into small (1/2 in) cubes
- Half a mug of Frozen Peas
- Tsp Cumin Seeds
- Tsp Fennel Seeds
- Tsp Ground Cumin
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Turmeric
- Tbsp Garam Masala
- Bunch of Fresh Coriander
- Salt and Pepper for seasoning
- Whack your lamb mince into a cold pan over a low heat and slowly cook it until browned all over, remove mince from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Pour off all the lamb fat apart from about a dessert spoonful in the bottom of the pan. If I were you, I wouldn’t pour the fat down your sink, that sort of thing can often end badly, especially in the eyes of your local council. If you were me, you would pour it into an empty tuna tin, put a rudimentary wick (think about 3×1 inches of cotton material, such as a furiously-ripped-apart tea towel) in the centre and when it sets you have a tallow lamp – the best kind of mood lighting – IT SMELLS OF MEAT!
- Reheat the oil left in the pan and add the Cumin and Fennel seeds, when they start to pop (which won’t be long) add the onion and cook until translucent, the onion not you.
- Add the ground Cumin, Turmeric and Garam Masala, stir and then add the garlic and ginger*. Season with black pepper give it all a good stir and as soon as you start to smell the garlic return the mince to the pan and add the potatoes. Cover and cook on a low heat for 15 minutes (or until the potatoes are cooked).
- Add the peas and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- At this point take out whatever portion you have allocated to your children and immediately stir in the corresponding amount of fresh coriander (chop it with scissors to maintain as much flavour as possible).
- To the rest (grown up stuff) add the chopped chillies and however much salt you like (if you’re not for sharing, do this at ‘*’), cook for about a minute and then add the rest of the coriander.
- Leave the filling(s) to cool so as not to burn your hands while assembling, switch on your deep fat fryer to 190 degrees then get a beer. It’s INCREDIBLY tedious peeling the samosa pastries apart, folding up your samosas and cooking them in small batches, beer will help.
- The samosa pastry packet should have some nice easy-to-follow graphical instructions on the back, so get on with it. Four or five samosas take about five minutes to cook in your deep fat fryer at 190, until the pastry is golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and serve when they won’t burn the inside of your mouth.
- Beware drips of oil, and the hot basket is particularly hazardous!
- And you can eat the leftover filling with, say, a chapatti for your dinner tomorrow.