I had to strike off a few dishes from my final list while planning this 'Fire up your oven' marathon as the cooking was supposed to happen entirely in the oven. The small but important detail that a stove couldn't be used to prepare anything except simple sauces escaped my attention and when Valli confirmed that, I let go pasta based dishes, casseroles, stuffed breads / rolls and such which needed some prior stove-top cooking. And of course I had to redo my list again.
Samosa was one of the savories on my list and I had made up my mind that I am going to make them somehow without involving the stove, even though I wasn't sure about the filling initially. Of course I had to let go the classic potato-pea filling. Baked samosas are a great alternative to the deep fried version and totally are guilt free. In fact they turn out so crispier that I prefer the baked version more and there are done in no time compared to the fried version. My husband suggested the dry samosa idea and that got the ball rolling. I used sev as the base of my filling here. Though technically sev is made on stove top, I used store bought one and didn't have to use my stove. :)) I toasted all other ingredients in the oven. The below stuffing reminded us of kachoris but the samosas turned out to be spicy and yummy.
Ingredients for the outer cover: (Yield 10 samosas)
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3 tbsp. semolina
2 tbsp. oil / ghee
Salt to taste
Milk to brush the samosas
Ingredients for the filling:
1/2 cup sev / ghatiya / moong dal
2 tbsp. sweetened dry coconut flakes*
1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used cashew & almonds.)
2 tbsp. raisins
1 tbsp. oil
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. amchur powder / dried mango powder
Salt and chili powder to taste
* In lieu of sweetened flakes, dry grated coconut and sugar powder can be used. Don't skip the sugar as the sweetness balances the other strong spice flavors here.
Preparing the outer dough:
* Combine flour, semolina and salt in a mixing bowl. Next add ghee or oil to the oil and rub it in with your fingers to incorporate. Then add water in small increments and form a soft, pliable dough. Cover and let it rest for about 30 minutes. (There is no harm if you let it rest longer. I did it for about 2 hours this time.)
Preparing the stuffing:
* Coarsely powder sev and coconut flakes.
* Toast the nuts lightly and let cool. Chop them coarsely.
* Combine oil, coriander seeds and fennel seeds in a sauce pan and toast them on stove top. Or toast it lightly on a baking sheet in the oven or this step can be done in a microwave. Cool the toasted coriander and fennel seeds and grind them coarsely.
* Mix coarsely crushed sev, coconut, nuts, raisins, crushed coriander, crushed fennel seeds, salt, chili powder and amchur in a bowl.
* Toast the above mixture for about a minute in an oven / microwave / on stove-top. Keep the mixture aside.
Assembling & baking the samosas:
* Preheat the oven to 400 deg F.
* Knead the dough prepared earlier and pinch into big marble sized balls. Work with one ball at a time and keep the rest covered.
* Grease you palms and roll one ball between your palms. Using a rolling pin, roll it thinly into a circle of about 5 inches diameter.
* Cut the rolled out circle into two equal halves, running a knife at the center. Basically you will end up with two crescent shaped halves, each with one straight edge and one curved edge.
* Take one half now and brush with water along with edges. Starting from one end of the straight edge, fold in half.
* Now again fold to form a cone.
* Seal the two edges carefully, (taking care that there are no gaps) so that stuffing wouldn't spill.
* Spoon the filling into prepared cone and seal the edges.
* Repeat the steps with the remaining dough.
* Grease a foil lined baking sheet and place the prepared samosas on it. Brush them with milk on both sides.
* Bake them for about 20 - 25 minutes or until they start turning brownish. They would have turned crispy by this time. There is no need to wait until they turn golden brown through out like the fried version.
* Serve immediately or cool them and store it in airtight container. They will stay fresh and crispy for few days. They are spicy on their own and do not need any chutneys to go with.