Friday, July 28, 2017

Foodie Fridays: Low-Carb Indian Vegetable Samosas

I did not think I would be posting a recipe while out of town, but my sister and I have similar dietary restrictions and we both love Indian food.  When we watched the two Indian cuisine-themed movies I mentioned in an earlier post, we both got a craving for samosas, those delicious fried pastries so popular as appetizers at Indian restaurants.  I searched the internet for a low-carb version that would satisfy both of our food restrictions, and found a recipe for Low-Carb Indian Vegetable Samosas.  My sister insisted that I had to make some for her before I left, so I am posting the result here.  There are several steps involved which take a little time, but these samosas are not difficult to make and the almond flour-cheese dough is really easy to use (even easier than a wheat flour dough). My sister made a cucumber raita to serve with the samosas (see the Bon Appétit recipe she used below), but a good chutney would also work well.  I would recommend waiting for cooler weather before making these as they must be baked, but then I am just not a warm weather person and dislike cooking anything in the summer!

Low-Carb Indian Vegetable Samosas

1 T. butter or ghee (I used sunflower oil)
6 oz. (about 1 1/2 to 2 C.) finely chopped cauliflower
1 medium onion, finely diced
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1 T. minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
1/8 tsp. red chili flakes (or to taste)
1/4 C. minced fresh cilantro
3/4 C. super fine almond flour
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
8 oz. finely shredded part skim mozzarella

Melt the butter in a preheated large skillet over medium heat.  Add the cauliflower and onion.  Sprinkle with the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and start to brown.  Stir in the fresh ginger and cook for 30 seconds before stirring in the coriander, garam masala, cumin, cumin seeds, and chili flakes.  Cook for 1-2 minutes to toast the spices.  Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro.  Taste for seasonings and set aside.

Set up a double boiler (I used a Pyrex mixing bowl over a saucepan of water).  Bring the water to a simmer over high heat and then set the heat to low.  Add the almond flour, cumin, salt, and mozzarella to the top part of the double boiler.  Stir together and place the bowl over the simmering water.  Hold the bowl with an oven mitt and stir the mixture constantly over the simmering water until the cheese melts and forms a dough (this could take a little time, maybe about 7-8 minutes depending upon the size of the bowl and the heat distribution).

Turn the dough out onto a large rectangle of parchment paper and knead a few times to thoroughly combine the dough ingredients.  Shape the dough into a thick rectangle and place another large sheet of parchment paper over.  Roll the dough out into an 8x16-inch rectangle.

Cut the dough rectangle in half lengthwise, and then in half-crosswise.  Each of the four resulting pieces can then be cut in half crosswise to create a total of eight dough squares.  Spoon about 1 T. of filling in the center of each square (you may have some filling left over).  Fold the squares on the diagonal to form triangular pastries.  Pinch the edges securely to close.  Place one of the parchment rectangles used to roll out the dough onto a baking sheet, and top the parchment with the samosas.

Prick each samosa with a fork for steam release.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden brown (time will vary so start checking on them after about 10 minutes).  Makes 8 samosas.

If you want to make the cucumber raita we had, here is the recipe my sister used:

Traditional Indian Raita

1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 C. finely diced English cucumber
2 T. minced fresh cilantro
1 T. minced green onion
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. cumin

Mix all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.  Chill the raita, covered, until ready to serve.  Makes 1 cup.

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