With Ramadan around the corner I thought I’d share some alternative samosa fillings. Samosas are perfect to accompany your soup for Iftar or to enjoy as a light snack with your favourite dip or chutney.
Samosas are made with fried or baked pastry with a savoury filling, such as spiced potatoes, cheese & onions and minced meat (lamb, beef or chicken). The traditional mince and onion filling remains a firm favourite amongst many.
Samosas are traditionally deep fried in vegetable or sunflower oil. For a healthy alternative brush your samosas with olive oil and bake at 190ºC for 40 minutes or until golden brown and baked through. Samosas can also be air fried using the same method as for your conventional oven.
Cheese & Onion Samosa Filling
2 large onions, peeled and chopped finely
200g grated cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp cake flour
1 – 2 tsp crushed red chillies
1tsp roasted masala
2Tbsp fresh coriander / dhanya
Mix the flour with the cheddar cheese to prevent the cheese from sticking together.
Add the rest of the ingredients mix gently together and fill your samosa pur.
Chicken & Corn Samosa Filling
2 chicken breasts
4 cloves garlic, grated
3 – 4 green chillies, chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
2 Tbsp dhanya / fresh coriander
1 chicken cube
2 cups corn (drain water if using from a can)
1/2 cups mozzarella cheese (optional)
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
Boil the chicken with the chicken cube, garlic and enough water to cover till cooked, about 10 minutes.
Drain the water completely.
Allow the chicken to cool and shred into pieces.
Add the remaining ingredients.
Season with salt to taste.
Use as a filling for samosas or spring rolls.
Fajita Samosa Filling
400g deboned chicken breasts (about 2 chicken breasts)
1 red pepper 1 yellow pepper 1 green pepper
2 large onions
1 Tbsp oil (olive or normal cooking oil)
½ – 1 tsp crushed red chillies
1 tsp jeera /cumin
1 tsp paprika
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp freshly crushed black pepper
200 strong cheddar cheese
2 tsp lemon juice
Cook the chicken breasts in a little water.
Add water as needed but don’t add too much, just so it does not stick or burn to your pot.
Meanwhile chop the peppers and onions finely.
Once the chicken has cooked removed it from the pot and allow to cool.
Shred the chicken breasts into small pieces.
Heat the oil in the pot add the onions and peppers, sauté for about 5 minutes.
Add the rest of the spices, stir and cook a further 5 minutes, don’t add water.
Cool completely before adding the shredded chicken, cheese and lemon juice.
Fill your samosas as you normally would.
Serve with a chutney dip.
Learn to make samosas from scratch by following my tutorial above. You’ll learn how to make the samosa leaves / pur as well as traditional mince filling.
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Salwaa’s Chocolate Pancakes / Crepes
Salwaa Smith – Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights
Here is a delightful refreshing pancake recipe with a twist. Wow your family with this chocolate pancake, fill it with chocolate instant pudding, chocolate mousse, fresh fruit, fresh cream or a combination of everything. Indulge!
2 cups cake/plain flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 extra large eggs
1 ½ cup milk
½ – ¾ cup water, depending how thin you want the batter
100g butter, melted
Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it.
Next gradually add small quantities of the milk and water, still whisking (don’t worry about any lumps as they will eventually disappear as you whisk).
When all the liquid has been added, use a rubber spatula to scrape any bits of flour from around the edge into the centre, then whisk once more until the batter is smooth, with the consistency of thin cream. Now melt the 100g of butter in a pan. Spoon halve of it into the batter and whisk it in, then pour the rest into a bowl and use it to grease the pan, using a piece of kitchen paper to smear it round before you make each pancake.
Now get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to medium and, to start with, do a test pancake to see if you’re using the correct amount of batter. I find 2 tbsp is about right for an 18cm pan. It’s also helpful if you spoon the batter into a ladle so it can be poured into the hot pan in one go. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter. It should take only half a minute or so to cook. Flip the pancake over with a palette knife – the other side will need a few seconds only – then simply slide it out of the pan onto a plate. Keep warm and continue until all the batter has been used. Makes about 20 pancakes.
Ramadan Kareem from my kitchen to yours
Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights – keeping our heritage alive
Ramadan – a brief explanation
Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, a religious annual observance and month of fasting that is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The time spent fasting is meant to be used for prayer, charity, spirituality, and for purifying the mind and body. The beginning and end of the month of Ramadan is determined by the sighting of the new moon. Muslims fast from before sunrise to sunset.
Does Ramadan always start on the same day?
No. Because Ramadan is a lunar month, it begins about 10 days earlier each year. During a Muslim’s life, Ramadan will fall during winter months, when the days are short, and summer months, when the days are long.
Why is the month so significant?
Principally because it is the month that Allah revealed the Quran to the last Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Who is exempt from fasting?
Those who are not required to fast during Ramadan are young children, (those who did not reach puberty) the sick or those with mental illnesses, travellers, the elderly and women who are menstruating, pregnant, breast-feeding or have recently had a baby.
The month of Ramadan contains the most blessed of nights – known as Laylatul Qadr – about which Allah, subhana wa t’ala, says:
‘What will make you realize what the Night of Power is like?
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.
Angels and the Spirit descend upon it with their Lord´s permission with every command;
There is peace that night until the coming of dawn.
Muslims break their at sunset with dates or water. Traditionally we, the Cape Malays, will have a starter consisting of soup, samosas, dhaltjies, fritters. More often than not after prayers we will have a main meal. During Ramadan plates of food are shared with neighbours. Little children can often be seen carrying plates of food to neighbours, etc… The best charity, the best Zakah, the best Sadaqah is in Ramadan. Feeding the poor and needy fasting people is highly recommended in Ramadan. The Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘Whoever feeds a fasting person, will get a reward like him.’ (Ahmad) He also said, ‘Protect yourself from the fire even by giving half of a date.’ (Agreed upon)
The benefits of Dates
The Prophet (pbuh) used to break his fasts by eating some dates before offering Maghrib prayer. Modern science has proved that dates are part of a healthy diet. They contain sugar, fat and proteins, as well as important vitamins. Dates are also rich in natural fibres. They contain oil, calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium. Dates and palms have been mentioned in the Holy Quran 20 times, thus showing their importance. The prophet likened a good Muslim to the date palm saying, “Among trees, there is a tree like a Muslim. It’s leaves do not fall.”
The Five Pillars of Islam include Sawm: Fasting during Ramadan, Hajj: a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their life, Zakat: giving to the poor, Salah: five-time daily prayer, facing Mecca, including absolution prior to prayer, Shahada: declaration of belief in one true God.
May you have a blessed spiritual uplifting month, ameen