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Warqi Samosa, Layered Stuffed Pastry
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Warqi Samosa, Layered Stuffed Pastry

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Warqi Samosa, Layered Stuffed Pastry

My earliest memories of samosas are from Ramadan when I was only seven or eight years old and had fasted for the first time. In Pakistan, the first roza/fast of a child is usually celebrated with an elaborate iftar meal. I knew what I wanted for mine – samosas and dahi vadas. In most Pakistani homes, iftar is still considered incomplete without these two snacks.

My mom’s Eid trolley always used to have samosas too, along side dahi vadas, fruit chaat and shami kebabs. My cousins and I, feeling greedy, used to mix all these snacks in one bowl and enjoyed eating the mishmash together. I haven’t tasted a more delicious meal yet that could outdo the delightful childhood memory.

Samosa belongs to an entire family of stuffed pastry snacks and dumplings, popular from Middle East to Central Asia and China with different names. The word samosa has stemmed from the Persian word sanbosag, though originally it was named samsa, after the triangular pyramids of Central Asia.

From royal courts to a traveller’s snack and street food, samosas have ruled the hearts of rich and poor alike for centuries. If you love the ubiquitous samosa then you are in for a treat far more indulgent and refined with this warqi samosa recipe. Warqi samosas have a more delicate and crisp layered pastry covering. Warq means page, the layers are therefore paper thin and many, like the pages of a book.

The crust is the most delicious or important part of a samosa for me. You can be creative with filling, but if the crust is not good, it spoils all the fun. Warqi samosa checks all the right boxes for me – thin, light, flaky, buttery sweet, melt in the mouth.

One could use any filling, savoury or sweet to prepare these warqi samosa, the traditional from Hyderabad is chicken or beef mince for savoury and mawa (whole milk reduced to a cheese like consistency) with dried fruits for sweet. Those who don’t have the time to prepare the covering can use Phyllo sheets but , believe me, there is no match for the homemade buttery pastry.

Hungry already? All you have to do is follow the recipe religiously to sink your teeth into the crispiest and most buttery pastry crust ever!

Ingredients:
For Pastry
1 cup plain flour
1 tablespoon desi ghee(clarified butter)
Water to knead the dough

For Paste
1/4 cup Desi ghee
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 tablespoon corn flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
A pinch salt

Stuffing Ideas:
*Cooked meat mince (qeema) but it has to be very dry, no extra oil or liquid in it. Mix it with chopped herbs, green chilli peppers and caramelised onions.
*Leftover shredded chicken roast with boiled peas.
OR
*Mashed potatoes mixed with chopped coriander, mint, green chilli peppers and cumin seeds.
OR
*Boiled eggs and potatoes, roughly mashed with salt and paprika.
OR
*Cottage cheese and potatoes.
OR
*For sweet versions, khoya (mawa), dates, figs, dried fruits and crushed nuts.

This Is What You Do:
Mix flour with ghee and salt to make wet crumbs. Add 1 tablespoon water at a time and keep mixing and adding water till the flour comes together.

Knead to make a firm and slightly tough dough. Cover and set aside.

Make paste by mixing all the paste ingredients in a small bowl.

Divide the dough into four small balls.

Generously flour a work top. Roll out all dough balls into as thin rounds as you possibly can. Thinner the better.

Place one round on work top. Brush the upper side with the paste. Layer the next round on top and brush again with paste. Repeat with all the rolled out rounds.

Now once again flour the work top if needed and start rolling out the pile into one big and thin round.

Cut the round into four equal triangles.

Again start piling the triangles on top of each other while brushing the tops with the paste in between.

Again roll out the pile into a thin long rectangular. Cut six smaller pastry squares out of that.

Lightly grease a dish and spread out pastry squares on it. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the stuffing.

Make whatever filling you choose, it just shouldn’t have any surplus liquid or oil in it. Filling has to be dry.

Place a tablespoon full of the stuffing in the middle of each square. Wet the area around the stuffing with your finger, fold and press the press down lightly along the filling. .

Remember NOT TO PRESS the edges. We need the pastry to fluff up and separate in layers on the edges.

Add oil to a wok or deep frying pan on medium low heat. Add warqi samosas to the wok and cook them till golden and fluffed up, not brown.

Remove from oil in a colander to strain away the excess oil.

Serve hot immediately.

Makes 6 samosas

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