I’m not really sure where the idea came from to be honest. It’s a combination of things; my Mum and Dad have always been famous in their village (and around the world with anyone who has visited) for their samosas. To this day, I’ve still to taste a mince samosa as good as my Mum’s. A while back I read the book ‘Whit’ by Iain Banks in which the protagonist is a girl whose family is multi-cultural and mentions on a few occasions Scots-Indo fusion food such as Lorne Sausage Pakora. When I mentioned this to my Dad, a flurry of activity soon started as he made Pakora with as many different Scottish breakfast items as possible: black pudding, Lorne sausage, etc.
So I guess these things have been floating about in my head for a few years till I finally got round to the idea of all the constituents of a Burns Supper in one handy wee pastry. Also, it’s fried and what Scot doesn’t love that?
The only caveat I would chuck in here is that it is very time consuming, so this recipe isn’t for everyone, even if everyone wants to eat them.
I figure with a bit of practice or with two people working together, you could do these in 3 hours. For that reason, whilst my recipe makes 16 samosas (a good amount for a first try), once you get good at it I recommend making two or three times that amount as if you are going to go to the effort, you should have plenty to go round. They freeze quite well so making a big batch will keep you in tasty snacks for a while.
Oh and I used store-bought haggis. I think teaching myself how to make pastry from scratch is quite enough for one day without getting elbow deep in Sheep’s lungs.
Okay, here goes:
Burns Supper Samosas (makes 16)
I use a few Scots words interchangeably with UK English here so it’s only fair I explain them:
Tatties are potatoes
Neeps are Turnip which is also known as Swede
Coriander is Cilantro for anyone in N. America
Ghee is Clarified Butter
You will need:
for the pastry
220g plain flour
4 tblsp vegetable oil
4 tblsp cold water
for the filling
2 medium tatties, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
1/2 small turnip, peeled and diced as above
1 small haggis, diced as above
1 small onion, chopped fairly finely
A handful of frozen peas
Ghee or Vegetable oil
Mild Chili powder
- Sift the flour and 1/2 tspn of salt into a bowl. Add the oil and rub it all in with your finger till it forms a kind of breadcrumby like texture. Add the water slowly whilst rubbing again and then form the dough into a ball.
- Knead the dough till it it smooth and strong. It should have a good bit of elasticity, returning to roughly its original shape when you squeeze it gently. Form it into a ball again and rub it in a little more oil. Put in a bag or wrap in cling-film and put in to fridge for at least 30 mins.
- Parboil the turnip, drain the water and put the turnip under running cold water to stop any futher cooking. Drain once the turnip feels cold
- Heat your ghee or oil till hot and chuck in 1 tspn each of corriander, cumin and mustard seeds (I like to give them a quick bash with the pestle and mortar.) Once the seeds stop popping add the onions and cook till they are browned at the edges. Add 1 tspn of the corriander powder, cumin, turmeric, chili powder along with the peas and a little water (maybe 3 or 4 tblspns.)
- Reduce the heat and simmer till the peas are cooked and a little more water if the pan is drying out
- Next add the garam masala, the neeps and tatties . Cook for ~5 minutes till the neeps and tatties are softened and the liquid is pretty much boiled off. Take off the heat and allow to cool before adding your haggis.
- Take the dough out the fridge and work it again for 5 mins. Divide it into 8 pieces and cover 7 whilst you roll out the 8th. You should be able to roll the dough out very thin, at least 7″ in diameter.
- I find it best to make it into a ball again, roll it, turn it 90° and roll repeating this till you have a rough circle. Taking a sharp knife, cut the circe in half.
- Take one half and fold it in half and seal the straight edge with a little bit of water on your finger then crimping the edge.
- You should now have a rough cone shape. Fill the cone with roughly 2 tblspns of your haggis, neeps and tatties. Seal the remaining edge as before and set on a floured plate.
- Now repeat till you have no more dough left.
- Fill a small pan (I like to use a wok) with about 2-3 inches of oil and heat on a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add as many samosas as you can to the pan as will fit on a single layer with a slotted spoon. Fry slowly till they are golden and crispy. A good rule of thumb is if they have little bubbles on the pastry, they are ready.
- Stick them into a bowl with some paper towels.
- Serve either hot or at room temperature with either hot sauce, brown sauce or ketchup. Ach..eat them anyway you want. What do I care?
Teamy is a Glasgow-based DJ and bon vivant whose second passion after records is food, especially all things spicy, a trait he attributes to his father, who makes the best chili sauce in the world and his ex-girlfriend who always makes things too hot.