These hot and sweet tangled leeks work really well with peas and mint to make an elegant and light samosa. Best served in the summer with a glass of crisp white wine. Follow the instructions here on how to fill, fold, and bake your samosas.
Makes 18 to 22
1½ pounds trimmed leeks
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 yellow onions, finely sliced
1¾-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
¾ cup peas (fresh or defrosted)
1½ teaspoons garam masala
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
¾ teaspoon ground red chile
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1¼ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
large handful fresh mint leaves
Wash the leeks well, remove any papery outer layers, then slice into very thin (1/8–¼ inch) rounds and leave to one side. Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan and, when hot, add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the onion and fry for around 10 minutes, until soft and golden, stirring occasionally. Add the ginger, stir-fry for a minute, then add the leeks.
Cook for a further 10 minutes until soft and sweet, then add the peas, garam masala, cumin, ground red chile, turmeric, salt, and lemon juice. Mix thoroughly, cook for a couple more minutes, then take off the heat and allow to cool. When cooled a little—just before making the samosas—chop the mint leaves, add to the mix, and stir well.
HOW TO MAKE SAMOSAS
Makes 18 to 22
12 to 16 sheets filo dough (approximately ½ pound), fresh or defrosted according to package instructions
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
optional: nigella or cumin seeds, to decorate
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line two baking pans with parchment paper.
Delicately unroll one sheet of dough and place on a large cutting board. Brush it lightly with melted butter and layer with another sheet of filo dough. Cut the sheets into three horizontal strips (around 4 x 10 inches), using a sharp knife.
Make a cone shape at one side of the strip, place 1 heaped tablespoon of the filling inside the cone, then fold the open side of the cone into the rest of the filo strip to cover and seal it. Keep folding over the rest of the dough around the shape of the cone until you come to the end of the strip. Cut off any excess dough and stick the strip down with a brush of melted butter. Pop the samosa on a pan and repeat.
To bake your samosas, brush them on both sides with butter, sprinkle with the nigella or cumin seeds, if using, and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Serve with cucumber and mint raita (see here) or some mango chutney.
NOTE: If you don’t want to bake your samosas straight away, put them in a single layer in a non-stick pan without brushing with butter, then place in the freezer. (You can put them into bags when they’re properly frozen.) To cook from frozen, place in a single layer on a lined baking pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden, brushing with melted butter halfway through.