Indian Lamb Samosas with Fresh Mint Dipping Sauce
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt, divided
- 6 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter or oil, divided
- Cold water as needed, usually about 10 tablespoons
- 1 cup minced onion, divided
- 4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger, divided
- 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh garlic, divided
- 3 hot green chiles, such as serrano, seeded and finely minced, divided
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 1/4 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 1/4 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/3 pounds ground lamb
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves, divided
- 3 cups fresh mint leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Oil, for frying
Make the pastry by combining the flour and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and then rubbing 4 tablespoons of the ghee into the flour until well combined and mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the pastry comes together to form a ball, about 10 tablespoons. Knead the dough lightly and then form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to rest for at least 1 hour.
While the dough is resting, make the filling. Heat the remaining ghee in a medium skillet and add 3/4 cup of the onion. Cook until the onion is lightly caramelized, about 6 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the ginger, 1 tablespoon of the garlic, 1 of the chiles, coriander, garam masala, cumin seeds, turmeric, and cinnamon and cook until the spices are fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the meat, 1 1/4 teaspoons of the remaining salt, 1/8 teaspoon of pepper and 1/4 cup hot water, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender and the water has been absorbed, about 25 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of the cilantro and set aside to cool completely.
While the filling is cooking, make the dipping sauce by combining the mint, remaining cilantro, remaining chopped onion, remaining ginger, remaining 1/4 teaspoon garlic, remaining green chiles, remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, sugar, lemon juice, and 3 to 4 tablespoons water in the bowl of a processor and process until a fine, smooth puree is formed. (Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.) Set aside, refrigerated, until ready to serve the samosas. (Taste and season with additional salt and sugar, to taste, if necessary.)
Divide the samosa dough into 10 portions and roll each piece of dough into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll each ball of dough into a circle about 5 inches in diameter (use a small bowl or the rim of a saucer and a sharp paring knife to trim the edges of the dough to form neat circles.) Cut each circle in half. Lightly moisten half of the straight edge of each half circle then bring the edges together to form a cone shape and press together to seal. Carefully spoon about 2 heaping tablespoons of the filling into the dough cone and push downward to compress the filling. Moisten the top edges with a bit of water and press together to seal. Repeat with the remaining portions of dough and filling.
When you are ready to fry the samosas, heat a deep-fryer or a large saucepan filled with at least 2 inches of oil to about 340 degrees F. Fry the samosas, a few at a time and stirring to promote even cooking, until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. (Note: these will float to the surface of the oil long before they are ready to be removed - make certain to cook them until the pastry is crispy and golden brown.) Remove using a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper-lined plate to drain. Repeat until all samosas have been fried. Serve immediately, with the fresh mint dippng sauce and/or your favorite chutney.
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