Oven baked Samosas with ground beef

Being oven baked and not fried, these Samosas are wonderfully tender and light. Here, ground beef and potatoes are used, and you can make a non-meat alternative with only potatoes cooked with same spices.

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For the dough (similar to a pizza dough)
1- Mix 10 gr of baker’s yeast with 100 ml of warm water and let it stand for 10 minutes.
2- In a large bowl mix: one and half cup of sifted flour (I like to mix whole and white wheat flour), one teaspoon of salt and half a tablespoon of brown sugar.
3- Add half a cup of yogurt and the yeast liquid. Knead until the dough no longer sticks to your fingers (add some flour if need be) and knead some more.
4- Place a wet towel on the bowl, and let the dough rise for at least an hour.

For the filling (for 400 gr of high quality ground beef)
1- First cook 400 gr of potatoes washed and unpeeled in boiling water (place them in cold water and let the water boil) until a fork can pierce through them. Then peel them when they have cooled a little and mash roughly. You can add a little bit of butter when mashing them to help with the process. Set aside.
2- While the potatoes are cooking, place a little bit of olive oil in a large pan and add a teaspoon of cilantro (coriander) seeds, one and half teaspoon of cumin, one and half teaspoon of Madras curry, a teaspoon of freshly grated black pepper, some fresh ginger root grated, some garlic also freshly crushed and the pulp of three tomatoes. Add the ground beef and mix. Cook well and add a generous amount of fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves chopped at the very end.
3- Mix the meat and the potatoes together in a large bowl and set aside

To make the samosas (about 20 of them)
1- Take the dough out of the bowl and separate it in 20 equal portions.
2- Flatten each portion with a roller in the form of a square.
3- Place some of the meat and potato mixture in the center and fold in the form of a triangle. You can use some egg white to close each of them but it is not necessary. Just press with your fingers.
4- Brush each samosa with egg yolk.
5- Bake in a 200º c. oven for about 15-20 minutes.

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Enjoy with some Raita on the side (yoghurt with cucumber, cumin and fresh mint).

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Mughal style ground beef

A recipe straight from the kitchen of the Mughal Court. The raisins add a wonderful touch!

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For 500gr of lean high quality ground beef:
1- In a pan, place just a little bit of olive oil and add: about 3 cm of fresh ginger root crushed, some crushed garlic, a teaspoon of Madras curry, a teaspoon of cumin, a small piece of a cinnamon stick, and salt and pepper to taste.
2- Once the spices give out their aroma, add half a kilo of very small tomatoes (slit them with a knife without cutting them so they may release their juices while cooking), a bunch of fresh cilantro chopped, a handful of raisins and the ground beef. Mix well.

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3- Cover and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until the meat is done. Mix from time to time.

Remember to take out the piece of cinnamon just before serving. I served it with white Basmati rice cooked with raisins and Raita (yoghurt mixed with cumin and cucumber).

Moroccan Kefta with tiny tomatoes

Using tiny organic tomatoes and the usual spices to make Moroccan Kefta.

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For 500 gr of high quality ground beef 
1- Wash and cut in half 500 gr of very small organic tomatoes.
2- Place in a pan with some olive oil and add a teaspoon of crushed black pepper, a teaspoon of turmeric, a teaspoon of cumin, two or three garlic cloves crushed, and some fresh ginger root also crushed.
3- Mix, cook on low fire and cover.
4- In the meantime, make the very little balls of meat between the palm of your hands. The smaller the better (about one to one and half cm in diameter).
5- When the tomatoes have released some of their liquid, add the Kefta and a generous bunch of fresh cilantro chopped. Mix and cover again.
6- Cook for about 15 minutes.

Serve with white rice and a salade. 

Note: Here a variation on the same Kefta recipe. This one has more sauce.

Ground beef Persian style

A lovely recipe using the Persian spice mix Adviyeh (recipe). I served it with white Basmati rice with raisins, and some green vegetables on the side.

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For 500 gr of lean ground beef:
1- In a pan, place some olive oil, three cloves of garlic crushed, half a red onion cut in small cubes, some fresh ginger root grated and two teaspoons of Adviyeh. Mix and cook until the onions become transparent and the spice mix gives out its flavour.
2- Add the pulp of four tomatoes, a handful of fresh cilantro chopped and the ground beef.
3- Cook for about 20 minutes stirring from time to time.

Note: do not add salt to the ground beef while it is cooking as it would release water. Add salt individually once served.

Serve with white rice and  a side dish of choice. It is also delicious with some plain yoghurt mixed with fresh cilantro and cumin. 

Samosa recipe from 15th c. Mughal India

Recipes for samosas from the only surviving copy of the Niʻmatnāmah-i Nāṣirshāhī (Nasir Shah’s Book of Delights) written for Sultan Ghiyas al-Din Khilji (r.1469-1500 – Mughal Sultan of Malwas) and completed by his son Nasir al-Din Shah (r.1500-1510).

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– At the British Museum

A recipe for samosas

“Mix together well-cooked mince [minced meat] with the same amount of minced onion and chopped dried ginger, a quarter of those, and half a tūlcha [a measure] of ground garlic and having ground three tūlchas of saffron in rosewater, mix it with the mince [minced meat] together with aubergine pulp.

Stuff the samosas and fry [them] in ghee. Whether made from thin course flour bread or from fine flour bread or from uncooked dough, any of the three can be used for cooking samosas, they are delicious.”

(Translation by Norah Titley, dated 1983 after her retirement from the British Library)

Note:
In many ways this follows the traditional Samosa recipe with the ingredients being minced meat, onion, ginger, garlic, saffron in rosewater (turmeric could also be used) and aubergine pulp instead of potato as it is used today. Thank you!