Gourmet Affairs

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Samosa - The Humble Snack

 Have you ever given some thought to the most humble food that has been present for such a long time that you have taken its presence for granted...This was the food Item without which your birthday parties would never have been possible..Its one of those food items, without which the monsoons & that splashing rain would not have looked & felt the same.... Many a times, when your early winter morning slumber is disturbed for whatever god forbidden reason this food along with hot & steamy cup of tea would be the savior....Many office meetings & evening snacks  would be incomplete without this snack ......All Offices, Corporates, Govt, PSUs, consider this as a savior snack...It looks so humble & simple, so basic yet so effective ...It can be somebodys favorite guilt food....Long before, Burgers , Pizzas & Many of the Foreign food chains Invaded India, This has been & continues to be Indias best homegrown & home made snack......Even Today Kids find it as enduring as a MacDonalds, or Pizza Hut, & still as appealing....and thanks to the Enterprising & Evergrowing Indian Diaspora, This food is as widely available as the Chicken Tikka, if not as Popular....All Communities Love it & all have their different flavors & versions to it...The Greatness of this Snack is that It lends itself to a lot of Experimentation & varieties albeit with encouraging  Results..You can stuff this with meat, Chicken, Onions, Peas, Chickpea, Mushrooms,Potatoes, Condensed Milk.......

It doesnt limit itself to just a limited offerings & condinments....Stuff it in Bread Slice and you get a Samosa Sandwich, a Pouplar Campus snack in Mumbai.......Pav Samosa, YOu can have it wityh Ketchup, Tamarind Chutney, Green Mint & Chilly Chutney, Coriander Chutney....Have it with a plate of Aloo subzee, or Choley...It taste just as great.....In the Bylanes, Gullies, Main roads, Highways, Dhabas, its still as Popular as ever..Lot of Hotels also have the Samosa as part of their Menu...
The Samosa too Like all of us has a Story & a HIstory.....Having its origins somewhere in Central Asia, Its also known as Sanbusak or Samsa in parts of Central Asia, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Uzbekistan. According to the “The Oxford Companion to Food” the Indian samosa is merely the best known of an entire family of stuffed pastries or dumplings popular from Egypt and Zanzibar to Central Asia and West China

Diff Avatars of the Samosa in Asia,

In the Turkish-speaking nations where it is called samsa (& variants) it is made both in half-moon shapes and triangles. Sedentary Turkish people such as the Uzbeks and in Turkey itself, people usually bake their samsas, but nomads such as the Kazakhs fry them. Occasionally, samsas will be steamed, particularly in Turkmenistan. In Central Asia the versions made with rough puff pastry (waraqi samsa, sambusai varaqi) are filled with meat. Those made with plain dough (leavened or unleavened) maybe filled either with meat or fillings such as diced pumpkin, chickpeas, herbs, wild greens, fried onions, mushrooms or dried tomatoes.

Sanbusak / Sambusa
Extolled in poems recited in the courts of Abassid Caliphs in 16th century Baghdad, these savoury pastries are particularly popular in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan & Syria. Traditional sanbusak are shaped like half moons and sprinkled with sesame seeds, usually with edges crimped or marked with fingernails. The usual Arab sanbusak is filled with meat, onions, & perhaps nuts or raisins, but Sanbusak bil Loz is tuffed with a mixture of ground almonds, sugar and rose or orange blossom water. In Iraq and Arabia dates are also a common filling. These pastries were still made in Iran as late as the 16th Century, but they have disappeared from most of the country today, surviving only in certain provinces: e.g. the triangular walnut-filled sambusas made in Larestan. However the Iranians of Central Asia, the Tajiks, still make a wide-variety of sambusas including round, rectangular and small almond shaped ones. In Afghanistan, where the name is sambosa, it is made both in half-moon shapes and triangles. The filling is traditionally ground meat with herbs and spices although halva and rasins are often used as well.

 Some People cook it in Oil - Mustard, Refined, Ground Nut, One restaurant also fries the Samosa in Ghee.....

Reference - http://www.samosa-connection.com/origin.htm

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