Potato samosas

“I don’t eat vegan food”

I first made these potato and pea samosas to bring down to Portland’s occupation, one night soon after we’d been evicted. There wasn’t much in the way of silverware or plates in the park where people were gathering, so I brought samosas people could eat in their hands. Hot, filling food was very welcome, and people cheered us, which was great.

But one girl came up and asked us whether the samosas were vegan. We assured her that they were, and she sadly said, oh, she didn’t eat vegan food, and turned away. We thought that was very funny – lots of good food is vegan, like strawberries, or baked potatoes, or ratatouille, or candied carrots.

Well, if you’re willing to eat vegan food, these are great samosas.

How to make Potato and Pea Samosas:

Peel (if you want) and dice three large baking potatoes and an onion. In a medium-size frying pan, over medium heat, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil and fry the potatoes and onion until they are soft in the middle and browned on the outside. They’ll brown better if you don’t stir them too often.

When they’re done, turn off the heat and add a cup of frozen peas, or fresh peas if you have them. If you don’t care about them being vegan, you could add browned ground beef too. Also add a teaspoon of turmeric, a pinch of cayenne, a teaspoon of cardamom, a teaspoon of cumin, and a teaspoon of salt.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Mix up a batch of cracker dough and divide it into balls about the size of golf balls. Roll out each ball until it is about eight inches in diameter. If you stack the wrappers up, be sure to flour them so they don’t stick together.

Take one wrapper at a time and lay it on the counter in front of you. Put a glass of water within reach, and the potato filling also within reach, and a sharp paring knife. Add an oiled baking sheet as well, to put the finished samosas on. With the knife, cut the wrapper in half.

Put a dab of filling on each half, dip your finger in the water and moisten the edges, and roll them up in a cone shape, so each half makes a samosa. Pinch the moist edges to seal up the packet, and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat until you’ve used up either the wrappers or the filling. Gently turn all of the samosas over once so they have oil on all sides of them.

Bake about fifteen minutes, until the wrappers begin to get hard. Serve with lettuce soup, or with a salad.

Will potato samosas keep?

Yes, they’re good for a week if you keep them in a sealed tupperware or plastic bag in the refrigerator. You could probably also freeze them if you liked. They’re good cold in your lunchbox, too.

Published by Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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