Tag Archives: potatoes

#Fooking Samosas

samosasIt has been a while since I last cooked something for this blog, and I say this a lot, but in the past five years it seems like it’s always something, right?

Sometimes I let the bad things take control and sometimes I try to shake them off and start surviving. And those are the best times and I will try to make them happen more. Everything that’s happening is beyond my control, but I, me, myself, I am not beyond my control. Right?

Hopefully, at least 😉

Well, this past couple of weeks has had its ups and downs, politically, historically, Greece has come and gone, things in our lives have come in circles, losses, gains… We realized that we are experiencing a concentrated version of life, with its joys and disappointments, shocks and fears, losses and reliefs – and epiphanies like this require strong doses of food and celebration.

So I made samosas. We ate them watching football, drinking beer, spritz, with yoghurt, sausages, salad, cats, friends.

Then I made the video. Because, Foo Fighters. And cooking. Fooking. It makes me smile and laugh, not necessarily in that order.

A word about the food. Folding the samosas can be tricky. Watch the video, it makes the folding part pretty clear. Once you’re through with the folding, the filling is nothing. Also, feel free to use other spices you like. Garam masala will probably work miracles in this. Don’t omit the coriander, it smells exactly like i imagine a baby angel’s hair will smell like. Seriously. But, if you don’t like it, by all means. Add or leave out anything you want. And let me know what you changed and how it turned out.

Also, I don’t fry. So I baked them. But you can also fry them, and they will be crispier and, well, tastier. People who fry, know that. But these have fewer calories and are a bit healthier, so yay for that!

What you will need:

For the dough

3 cups flour

3 TB olive oil

½ TB thyme (dry)

½ tsp salt

less than a cup of cold water

For the filling

3 – 4 potatoes

some peas

1 onion

2-3 cloves of garlic

1 small carrot, grated

1 small chili pepper

1 tsp coriander seeds, broken

1 tsp cumin

½ tsp turmeric

1/3 tsp ginger

½ tsp sweet paprika

Some lemon juice

What you will need to do:

To make the dough, mix the flour, the oil, the thyme and the salt in a big bowl, add some of the water and mix with your hands, continuing to add water until you have a soft dough that doesn’t stick. Cover it with a towel (you can even touch it with some oil to keep it soft) and leave it to rest for about half an hour.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes and, towards the end, add the peas.

When the potatoes and peas are done, heat some oil in a large pan and sauté your spices, until they are fragrant. At this point, you love me, because your house smells like heaven. Now, add the onion and cook until it is translucent and soft, about 2- 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and peas, the garlic, the carrot, the chili and cook for 4-5 minutes, until everything is brought together and smells like the spices. Take the potato mixture out of the pan, transfer it to a big bowl and add some lemon (as much as you want, don’t add too much, a couple of squeezes will do) and some pepper. Now take a fork and start mashing it, making sure you don’t end up with a pulp. Mash it but not too much, we want some pieces in it.

Let it cool.

Go back to your dough and take a bowl of water and a rolling pin with you. Take your dough, divide it in 8 equal balls, and start rolling them. Once you’ve rolled the first one pretty thin but not paper thin (you’re not making a pie!), cut the circle in half, take one half in your hand, dip your fingers in the water and wet the round edge, roll it and make a cone. This involves some hand crossing and some imagination, but you can check out the video and see how it is done. It’s pretty easy once you’ve seen it and made your first. BTW, the first two always suck, then it gets easier. Take your cone, fill it with your filling, dip your fingers in the water again, wet the remaining edge and close your samosa. Make sure you keep the shape.

At this point I separate myself from tradition and don’t even regret it. At this point you can fry your samosas in some non-fragrant oil and they become crispy and amazing.

But I don’t fry.


Only if I absolutely have to, but I always try to find alternatives.

And alternative I did find.

So, at some point before starting to roll your dough, preheat your oven to 200C (400F). Once ready, place your samosas on an oiled baking sheet, brush them with some egg and put them in the oven for 30-40 minutes, depending on the oven, or until you see them turn golden and beautiful (whichever comes first).

Have them with some greek yoghurt (I suggest full fat or more!) or a chutney of your liking, and bon appetit!


Potato Kimpira with Bacon


This is a big bowl, and it’s almost full, perspective is not doing the quantity of the food justice!

   As a household, we have a couple of recipes we eventually like to fall back on, when we need the warmth and safety of something familiar. These are not necessarily recipes that bring us back to our youth, or anything our mothers (separately) cooked or cookies our grandmothers slipped in our pockets when no-one was watching. No, in fact most of these recipes have been recently added to our repertoires, but still have a soul-warming effect.

This is one of those recipes. Taken out of the book by Master Chef Murata called Japanese Home Cooking with Master Chef Murata: Sixty Quick and Healthy Recipes, Potato Kimpira with Bacon seems to be the obvious answer to the question «so, what are we cooking today, that the weather is bad and we need something to cheer us up before going to work/babysitting/class?».

In general, this book is one of my favorites. I didn’t really know Yoshihiro Murata until I bought this book. Oh, yes, I’m guilty of buying cookbooks by cooks I don’t really know, judging only by the cover, or by the contents’ page. So, one day I decided I wanted a couple of books on Japanese cooking. One of the books I bought was this one. Boy was I happy with it!

The photos, the tastes, AND the fact that I can actually cook most of the recipes, without having to travel to an exotic country to find the ingredients. Most of the exotic ingredients, like mirin, bonito flakes and I don’t know what else, have not yet reached my town. Now, you will find recipes that require some of these ingredients. But they are mostly optional – and I found out that whole wheat spaghetti can be a great substitute to buckwheat noodles, thanks to Master Chef Murata.

Kimpira actually means «sauté and simmer» according to Wikipedia, and is used for cooking vegetables, such as carrot and other roots I would never find in Greece. We will be doing that with potatoes, but I might try it with carrots one day, it sounds pretty interesting!

What we’ll need 

2 medium all – purpose potatoes (I used to big ones – hey, we are eaters!)

2 slices of bacon (again, eaters, I used 4. It changes nothing, other than, you know, more bacon!)

1 Tb vegetable oil (the more bacon you use, the less oil you need – that said, I used 1 Tb, despite using more bacon)

½ tsp crushed chili flakes (I know this is becoming annoying, but I like things HOT. So, I actually used ½ Tb of that. Maybe more!)

1 Tb soy sauce

1 Tb sugar

1 Tb water (funny story: the larger the potatoes, the more liquid you need. Adjust – I used what the book said and then added a little bit more of both)

½ tsp sesame seeds

1 scallion, chopped

Ground black pepper

What to do

Start by cutting the potatoes into really small sticks. The book says 7mm thick and 7cm long, but I didn’t really count. I just cut them up as thin as I could, because the thinner they are, the faster they cook. This will also take you a loooooooooooong time – unless you are a chef or something. I realized how long this took when my boyfr… eh… husband (wow, I’ll never get used to that!) left to go to the store and then returned and put everything away and then sat to watch a game while I was still chopping up potatoes. Still, it’s a great meditation game, emptying your mind and just chopping potatoes. Try it!


Ok, when you’re done with the potatoes, chop up the bacon and add it in a large pan – or a wok – along with the oil and the chili flakes over medium heat. Let them cook until the fat of the bacon is done and your kitchen smells amazing. (I bet we could add garlic, too, why didn’t I think of trying that? Or would it complicate the taste? I need to think about this…).


When your bacon is cooked, add the potatoes, the water, the soy sauce and the sugar, stir and let it cook until all the liquids are gone. I cover it because my pan is large and shallow and I fear that the humidity won’t circulate around the potatoes enough. But that’s just me, you know how your cutlery works better than I do.

Now is the time to start tasting it. When you see that your liquids are gone and you really want to try it, well, go ahead. If the potato doneness is to your liking, add the sesame seeds. Stir once, ONCE, and remove from heat.

Arrange your kimpira in a dish or a bowl and garnish it with the scallion. Add some black pepper and serve.

This makes enough for two people. Now, sometimes we may only need to have the potato kimpira and we are good to go. I must confess, though, that this time we had it alongside a burger  – a burger, not a burger in a bun with everything that accompanies a burger, just the burger! – but it was a cold day and it was our only meal of the day, so hopefully we weren’t just being pigs!

So, there you have it. Potato bacon kimpira for everyone. I hope you enjoy it!

kimpira4 PS. This is how I cook. With a black cat staring at me, sniffing every time I bat my eyelashes, meowing every time I move towards the fridge. She begs for food even in her sleep sometimes. Of course I always give her a little treat, which, I guess, means I’m to blame. But who can say “no” to these eyes?

(She’s actually “eying” the bacon)


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