SPRING PEAS AND GREEN GARLIC GUJARATI SAMOSAS
Green Garlic is an underrated allium. It is really one of my favorite alliums. They come out in the spring time and last for a 2 to 3 months, at the farmer’s market. I grew up eating green garlic a lot, in the most iconic famous Gujarati dish – Undhiyoo. My mom used to make Undhiyoo a lot in the winter season. It is a medley of winter vegetables like papdi, or green flat beans, sweet potato, potatoes, eggplant, raw banana, and a couple other vegetables. It is cooked in a green masala, which is essentially made up of green garlic, coconut and cilantro as the base, and it gets flavor from lemon juice, sugar, salt, green chillies. This makes up the essence of Undhiyoo. My mom would set aside some finely cut green garlic as garnish for the Undhiyoo. It has so much flavor and you can taste all the wonderful winter vegetables in this dish.
HOW TO GROW GREEN GARLIC?
I love using green garlic in so many ways. I make pesto, I use it in theplas, or to make rotis, I love using it along with gnocchi, really anything that has garlic can have green garlic and it really takes the dish to a new level. A good friend of mine told me that I could grow green garlic in my backyard! So I planted garlic sometime mid January this year. In 6 weeks, the stalks were growing pretty well and I could use them in my cooking in about 8 weeks! The fragrance is simply intoxicating! There is something about garlic and green garlic, that simply captivates me! I am going to see how long I can grow the green garlic.
MATAR(GREEN PIEAS) KACHORI:
Matar or green peas Kachori is a very famous Gujarati snack or appetizer. It is made with a green pea filling, that is stuffed into a dough, and then formed into a ball, before it gets fried. Different homes have their own specific recipes on how they make these kachoris. Some families use green peas only, some use green peas and lentils to make the kachori. Some use coconut in the green pea mixture to make the kachoris.
My grandma or Ba or Nani (maternal grandmother), makes these Gujarati samosas, which are not 3-dimensional like Punjabi samosas, but they are triangle flattened versions of samosas. That is how the Gujaratis make it. She makes a potato and pea filling which is slightly different from the Punjabi filling, and is not as spicy as the Punjabi samosas.
She also makes Gujarati Samosa with the matar kachori filling. The filling is really delicious and is influenced by the African culture, since she spent a vast amount of years living in Uganda. The filling has the following ingredients:
- Green Peas
- Fresh Coconut
- Green Chillies
- Lemon Juice
- Garam Masala
On some of my visits to the UK, where Ba resides, I have seen her make them with such ease even at her age. My masis or aunts (mom’s sisters) help her and they assemble nearly 100 samosas in one seating! Chatting way, drinking chai in the middle, and just getting it done for the entire family gathering. It is fun to watch them go at it. One of my aunts has become gluten-free for health reasons, and she makes a gluten-free dough with farali flour, which you get at the Indian grocery stores. She makes the dough with this flour and makes kachoris, but in ghugra form, that is – it’s a stuffed crescent moon. She does not fry it, rather she shallow fries it on the pan – thus making a healthier version of the famous Matar Kachori.
SPRING PEAS AND GREEN GARLIC GUJARATI SAMOSAS:
Green peas are also in season right now, so I see no better time than NOW to make these iconic kachoris, but in samosa form, with fresh green peas and green garlic! I used toasted fennel seeds in the filling too, because I am a huge fan of fennel and I use it a lot in my cooking. It has tons of health benefits too. I have a similar recipe in my upcoming cookbook, but I use galette dough to make the recipe and they turn out absolutely buttery, fresh, springy and delicious! I love the shot as well that was taken by the photographer! The cookbook is available for pre-order here, at Amazon!
- Difference between Gujarati samosas and Punjabi samosas:
Gujarati samosas are flat triangles that are slightly stuffed, to make a triangular pillow. The filling consists of potatoes, peas, carrots, a bit of spices like cumin seeds, garam masala, some fennel seeds, and alliums like garlic, ginger(if they are not Jain by religion – who do not eat these alliums). This is how my Ba or grandma makes it too. She will interchange the filling for matar samosa too, which is what I am showcasing here with a slight twist.
Punjabi samosas on the other hand are only potato and peas, with garam masala, spicy green chillies, fennel seeds etc. They are also shaped differently. They are 3D triangle in shape and are meatier and bigger than the Gujarati samosas. I grew up eating both. Gujarati samosas also have a thinner layer of the roti as opposed to the Punjabi samosas which have a thicker outer layer.
The filling for these matar samosas is pretty easy. You basically first want to coarsely grind the fresh in-season green peas, ginger and green chillies, in a food processor. Food processor works best, rather than a high speed blender, because of the coarseness that you get from the food processor. You do not want to puree the mixture. You want a bite, when you bite into the samosa.
The mixture takes not more than 15 minutes to make. The only spices that we are adding is garam masala, cumin seeds and hing. Coconut and sugar adds a subtle sweetness to the mixture. Lemon juice adds a bit of a tang, and green garlic and cilantro adds freshness, to the filling. The filling needs to be cooled before it can be filled in the samosas.
OUTER ROTI LAYER:
I use a mixture of all purpose flour and whole wheat flour to make the outer layer. The dough binds well. Carom seeds are added because whenever samosas are fried, carom seeds helps with digestion of the food. I have given the exact measurements in grams for the flour so that you can get exact sized rotis. The rotis are made to about 5 to 6 inch diameter, and half cooked on the stove, on a pan. They are cut into semi circles, folded and filled with the filling.
HOW TO STORE THE UNFRIED SAMOSAS:
I usually fold all the samosas, and keep it on a plate. They can be frozen at this point, by putting it in a ziplock bag, for up to a month. When you want to fry them, simply thaw them in the fridge, until they are soft to the touch (usually takes about a day) and then fry them.
I have also kept them in the fridge, in a closed container, for upto 2 days before frying them.
I have not tried this, but the samosas I believe could be baked too in the oven. This is left for experimentation when I try this method, and I can update this blog post at that point in time!
BEST WAYS TO EAT THESE SAMOSAS:
- Eat them with Ketchup – It IS SO GOOD!
- Or eat it with Date Tamarind Chutney and Cilantro Mint Chutney – recipes are linked here.
- Or eat it as samosa chaat with the samosas on the plate, along with chole on the top, drizzled with the data tamarind chutney and cilantro mint chutney, sev, red onions and cilantro! Enjoy!
- OR finally make a samosa pav with some dried garlic chutney, that is SO GOOD TOO!
Hope you enjoyed this blog post. For more delicious videos for this recipe, please visit my Instagram page that is linked HERE.
VIDEO FOR THIS RECIPE IS LINKED HERE.