Craving and lack of easy access – of what one is craving for – can together be a good thing. For past two days, I had been having serious craving for the moong daal (yellow lentils) samosas. It is difficult to find them in Sweden, so I decided to make them. Happy with the result 🙂
Moong dal is not so common in European super markets however is easily available at an Asian grocery store. It is a staple in every Indian home and there would be rarely one who would not have this in their kitchen cupboard. Moong dal is considered a healthy lentil which is easy to digest. This mixed with few more condiments and spices gives a wonderful filling. In my recipe, I have made the samosas mildly spiced. If you like spicier food, you are welcome to increase the spice level. The filling can be tasted – and spice adjusted – before filling in the samosas. So it is easy to manage and get the correct taste that suits you.
Here is how I made these.
For the filling:
1. Moong dal 100 gm
2. Cashews 20-25
3. Raisins 3-4 tbsp
4. Whole coriander seeds – 1.5 tbsp
5. Fennel seeds – 1.5 tbsp
6. Salt – to taste
7. Sugar – 2 tsps
8. Chat masala – 1 tsp
9. Garam masala – 1/4 tsp
10. Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
11. Asofoetida – 1/8 tsp
12. Red chilli powder – 1/8 tsp (add more if you like spicy taste)
13. Oil – 3.5 tbsp
For the pockets:
1. Whole purpose flour 250 gm
2. Ghee 60 gm
3. Water (around 8-10 tbsp)
Wash thoroughly the moong dal. Rinse out the water. Finally soak the daal in fresh water for 3.5 hours.
After 3.5 hours, the moong daal would have swollen a bit because it will absorb water. Take a lentil grain and try to break it in between your finger and thumb (kind of using your nail as a knife to cut through the grain). It should easily cut through. If not, soak the dal a little longer – another 1 hour.
Rinse away all water from the soaked moong dal and spread out the daal on a clean dry kitchen towel for drying. I live in a cold country so I dried the dal for approximately an hour. Post that I dry roasted the dal further in a pan to make it even drier. If you have good sun, you can sun dry too.
When the dal is dry, take it out on a plate and keep aside. Chop the cashews and raisins finely. A bite of approximately 0.5 cm is ok but avoid chopping too rough otherwise it might be tricky to fill in the samosas later. In a mortar and pestle, take the coriander and fennel seeds and lightly crush them.
Take a pan. Add 3.5 tbsp oil. Add asofoetida, coriander and fennel seeds (slightly crushed). Fry for a minute. Now add the cashews and raisins. Mix properly and fry for another minute. Now add in the dal, salt, sugar, chilli powder, garam masala and chat masala. Mix thoroughly and fry until the filling looks dry and nicely mixed.
Keep aside for cooling. At this stage, you have an opportunity to taste your filling and adjust salt, spices etc. A small tip is to check that the grain for moong dal is slightly raw. This gets further cooked with the samosa shells so it is good to have them slightly raw or else they might become mushy.
For the filling mix the dough and ghee. Mix thoroughly with your palms such that each grain is covered in ghee. The flour will become crumbly. Now add water little by little and bring the dough together. It is not needed to knead the dough. Rather it must come together and must be hard dough. Cover with a kitchen towel and keep for 30 min.
After 30 min, take a ball – approximately 1 inch diameter – and roll it out into a circular sheet. The thickness we need is around 0.3 cm thick sheet. Now take a sharp knife – preferably without teeth (so no tomato knives) – and slice the circular sheet into two half moons.
Make a samosa shell and make sure all edges are sealed tightly. Fill in the moong dal filling and seal tight.
For frying heat oil in a pan on medium high. Once the oil is hot, lower the flame to medium low and slide in the samosas carefully. Do not overcrowd when deep frying.
In case any samosa shell opens up in the oil – mine did 🤣 – then simply take this out and best to throw it away. Overcrowding increases the risk of samosas opening up while in the oil. Therefore good to avoid Overcrowding.
Fry on low-medium heat until the samosas are light golden in colour. At this stage, take them out on a kitchen towel. You can savour these warm if you like. Though traditionallly people make these and eat them cold with tea.