The Snooty Samosa Marries The Polite Pie
It's snooty, the samosa. Sitting pretty on your fancy tray as it goes around your schmancy party, it's a finger food that woos with wanton. Everyone loves to sink their teeth into the deep-fried goodness of this pompous pastry, but they tread with caution. Will they be caught dusting the flaky remnants off their lips? Will the greasy indulgence seem becoming of them? Can they just gobble down an extra one when no one is looking? The samosa observes and takes notes, only to make recurring comebacks with a twist of extra goodness and more puffed-up each time, take the pun if you will with a pinch of chutney on the side.
So, being hosts of parties where the swollen-bodied samosa never ceases to please, we at Tadka Pasta are constantly on a quest to find ways to jazz it up a touch and with this latest creation, the one word that bobs up in our heads is khasta. It's a word that traverses dictionaries and languages, merely touching the surface of transliterations, gathering strength upto a point where crunchy, crispy, crackling, crusty and flaky round up around it, leading to the samosa's not so ubiquitous relative, the kachori. Khasta kachori. Not half as snooty as your samosa, but hardly humble as the American pie. It's an..in-between. As we put this down, we can't help but wish that we had a friendly neighborhood halwai to knead, roll, cut, fill, fold, crimp and fry each of these delectable concoctions at breakneck speed. Oh, you don't have one either? Meet the Samosa Pie. All the khasta...none of the...above.
Make way for the refrigerated boxed pie crust to come sliding in. Carefully line your pie dish with the neatly rolled dough, and trim it to fit. No pie dish, you say? Refer to the
Samosa Crostata at the end of this post, or just use a shallow baking dish or
your regular cake tin. Take a minute to poke the dough all over with a fork, then primp up
the edges of the pastry with a few twists and twirls a la samosa. Bake the pie shell as instructed on the box until it turns a rich golden brown and perfectly..khasta.
Fill with your favorite spiced-up potato and peas combination, or ride on a perky whim and go with onions sauteed in a hot tomato base, a mixed vegetable hodge-podge flavored fine and dandy, or even chicken grilled and curried to perfection. Finish with a flourish
- a topping of fragrant cilantro, a squirt of fresh lime, a few roasted cashews or even peanuts. Or, if gooey goodness of cheese varieties floats your boat, cover the pie top with a cup of grated cheese. A zippy pepper-jack would be divine, or a chipper cheddar would work just fine too. The pie now goes right back into the oven for a little less than 10 minutes at 350-400 depending on your oven, to melt that cheese and let it ooze into the crumbly filling. Ta-da, your la-di-da Samosa Pie is ready to serve. Cut into wedges, and serve the lucky folks at your next party. A dollop of chutney on the side will complete the experience -- fiery mint, or even tangy tamarind.
Or, try making a Crostata, a free-form pie, no pan needed. Start by placing a circle of the pie dough on a baking sheet. Spread the filling in the center, leaving a border of about 2 inches along the outer edge. Fold in the edges, while pinching the pleats to partially enclose the dough. Brush the exposed dough with some beaten egg to ensure a lovely golden edge to the Crostata Pie. Sprinkle cheese or do it plain. Bake at 400F for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.