Come September, Baby Dear will be off to pre-school. I’ll finally be joining in the likes of moms who begin their day with packing a lunch for their wee ones. For the past few weeks, I’ve been filling my ‘recipe ideas‘ notebook with recipes that would fill his little tummy and keep Baby Dear alert and active for the remainder of the school day.
Since schools in India have just started to open up for the new term, I’ve been getting quite a few requests to share recipes that would work well for kids’ lunch boxes. While sandwiches often seem to be the go-to solution for a quick packed lunch, I’ve never been a fan of them. I used to pack myself simple sandwiches made with cheese and tomatoes, or cold cuts and lettuce, or sometimes even the good old PB&J, but come lunch-time, I always craved something else. But let’s be honest here – not many us have the time, energy or sometimes even the patience it takes to prep a fresh cooked, healthy meal early in the mornings. Our breakfasts itself are almost always rushed, so finding the time for cooking and packing a meal for later in the day seems almost ridiculous! Which is why I’m a big believer in leftovers.
I’ve been packing Hubby Dear’s lunches almost everyday since we got married, which is over 9 years ago! And almost always, it has been leftovers. And that’s exactly what I intend to do with Baby Dear’s lunches as well. While I do understand that packing meals for kids needs some amount of creativity and thought put into it, I don’t see why it can’t be done with minimum fuss and effort on the mom’s part. The recipe I have for you today, does exactly that. You can make these samosas in big batches on a weekend when you have the time and freeze them. Then, as and when required, fry them up and serve hot. They taste great at room temperature as well, so you can definitely fry them the previous evening and pack them up for lunch the next day.
Another idea to take this even a step further, is to make Bun Samosas, which are a popular street food outside many colleges and office buildings in most major cities in India. All you need to do is smush a samosa or two, depending on its size, between a bun or two slices of bread. You can also spread some chutney or plain ‘ol ketchup on the inside for that extra zing. Baby Dear absolutely loves it, and this is one sandwich I would never mind opening my lunchbox to!
MINTY POTATO SAMOSAS
Prep time: 15 min | Cooking time: 30 min | Serves: 6
For the Base:
2 cups All-Purpose flour
1 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
pinch of salt
1 tbsp oil
water, as needed
For the Filling:
1 tbsp light cooking oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp amchur powder
2-3 mid-size potatoes, boiled and cubed into tiny pieces
1/2 tsp dried mint leaves
salt, to taste
oil, for deep frying
For the Base:
Mix all the base ingredients in a big bowl and form into a nice soft dough. Divide dough into golf-sized balls and set aside.
For the Filling:
Sauté cumin seeds in hot oil, in a large skillet, till they start to sizzle. Add in chopped onions and fry till tender. Add chili powder, turmeric, coriander and amchur powder, and fry spices for a few seconds till fragrant.
Mix in potato cubes and sauté till spices mix well with the potatoes. Add in dried mint leaves and salt, and cook for a few minutes to combine everything together. Mix in fresh coriander leaves
For the Samosas:
Roll out each dough ball into circular discs about half a centimetre thick. Cut the circles in half, to form two semi-circles.
Taking each semi-circle, roll one end to the other forming a cone. Press the edge of the cone slightly with your fingers to prevent it from opening. Fill each cone with the potato filling, and seal the open edges tightly to make a closed triangle.
Continue for the remaining of the dough. Deep fry the samosas in hot oil till golden and crisp on all sides.
Recipe Notes: To keep samosas for longer periods of time, allow the unfried samosas to cool in the fridge for a few hours and then store them in sealed bags in the freezer. When ready to fry, just remove from the freezer and fry in hot oil without thawing them.