For as long as I can remember I have enjoyed devouring vegetable samosas. They are basically the Indian vegetarian version of the Cornish pasty and are a great all day snack. At university I would regularly eat one for breakfast before heading off to lectures. Filling and wonderfully spicy, they were a great way to warm the belly and the soul.
I often make them the ‘traditional’ way with potatoes, peas, carrots, spices and chilli, but sometimes for a change I like to make them with a twist. Beetroot works really well and if you combine it with feta, cumin seeds, chilli and fresh coriander then you have yourself a really tasty little treat. I thought they seemed quite festive and would make the perfect little starter/snack over the Christmas season.
Making the filo parcels is a lot easier than you would imagine. If you look at the photographs below you will get the picture of how straightforward they really are to prepare.
First you start by placing a tablespoonful of the cooked spiced beetroot and feta in the bottom right hand corner. You then need to glaze gently the sides of the filo pastry with melted butter so that the samosa sticks together well.
By bringing the bottom right hand corner up to the left hand side you create the first triangle. Should it break at all at this stage do not panic as it will all be hidden as you go on folding the triangles.
Keep folding the triangle over so that it alternates from side, upwards and then side again until you reach the top. Then add a little more melted butter to the top of the filo pastry and fold over one last time.
Viola. Now you need to give the topside a melted butter glaze and then place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
After twenty minutes in the oven at 180 degrees you have beautiful bronzed samosas ready for eating. Eat immediately – or once they have cooled slightly.
They are also an irresistible after school snack (just remember to reduce the chilli if your children are not used to chilli).
Baked Spiced Beetroot and Feta Samosas
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1-2 heaped tsp cumin seeds
1 small fresh green chilli, finely sliced (1/2 if you prefer it less hot)
150g feta, diced
1/2 sweet paprika
handful of fresh coriander
8 filo pastry sheets (will make 16 samosas)
butter, for glazing
1. Wash the beetroot and leave the skins on at this stage. Cut the stems so they are short. Boil in a pan of boiling water for around 20-30 minutes so that they have softened. Test with a sharp knife, if it goes in easily then they are done. The skins will also be able to come away easily when they are ready.
2. Chop into small cubes and place to one side. In a frying pan add the vegetable oil and when it is hot add the cumin seeds and fresh chilli. After 30 seconds add the beetroot and stir well so that they begin to be coated in the cumin seeds and chilli.
3. Add the paprika, fresh coriander and leave on a low heat for 5 minutes.
4. Add the feta and gently fold into the beetroot and spices. Leave for a minute before taking off the heat to cool. Leave to cool for 15 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
6.Place one sheet of filo pastry on a chopping board and cut it in half lengthwise. Using the first pasty strip, lightly brush the pastry with melted butter around the edges and place a tablespoonful of the filling in the bottom right hand corner. Bring the corner up to the left hand side of the pastry therefore making a triangle shape. Then bring the triangle straight up to create another triangle before folding over once again so that the triangle folds over to the right hand side of the pastry once again. (See photos above)
7. Continue all the way to the top. With the final edge brush with melted butter and fold over neatly. Turn over and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush the exposed side of the samosas with melted butter. Repeat until you have completed the process.
8. Place in the oven for 20 minutes or until the samosas has bronzed nicely. Serve immediately with a chutney or two on the side.
Come back to my blog in a weeks time to get a fab chutney recipe.
Note: You can prepare them (pre cooking) and then freeze them. When you are ready to eat them simply glaze them with melted butter and place them in the oven for 20-25 mins until bronzed.