“It’s important not to rush this recipe,” says Bozeman restaurateur Andleeb Dawood, who contributed this appetizer. “You want to really caramelize the onions, and add the spices slowly so the meat filling fully absorbs them.”
½ cup safflower or canola oil (plus more for frying)
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 medium red onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 pound ground lamb
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 1 tbsp)
1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp ground turmeric
1 large ‘Roma’ tomato, chopped
1 Anaheim pepper
1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
1 tbsp flour
5 wonton wrappers, cut in half lengthwise
1 tsp teaspoon lemon zest, for garnish (optional)
Cilantro-Mint Chutney (recipe below)
Raita (recipe below)
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and cook until fragrant and starting to sizzle, 1 to 2 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and dark brown, about 20 minutes. Add lamb, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes. Add garam masala and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes more. Add salt, coriander, cayenne, and turmeric and cook for 2 minutes more; stir in tomato and reduce heat to low. Place Anaheim pepper in center of meat mixture; cover and simmer until tomato dissolves, about 10 minutes. Stir in peas and cook, uncovered, until peas are cooked through but still bright green, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain any remaining fat from pan; discard Anaheim pepper. Allow meat filling to cool completely.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together flour and 1 to 2 teaspoons water to create a paste; set aside. Fold and fill the wonton wrappers to form the samosas (see “How to Fold Samosas,” below).
Place a wok or medium, high-sided pot fitted with a candy thermometer over medium-high heat; add about 3 inches of oil and bring to 350°F. Carefully place half of samosas in the hot oil, making sure not to crowd the pan, and fry, flipping once, until crispy and dark golden brown, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer samosas to a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining samosas. Transfer to a platter. Garnish with lemon zest, if using, and serve hot with Cilantro-Mint Chutney and Raita.
How to Fold Samosas
Place half a wonton wrapper on a flat surface. Fold top right-hand corner down and over to form a triangle.
Bring top lefthand corner of wrapper down to bottom right corner to create a pocket.
Using your thumb to keep the folds in place, carefully spoon about 1½ tablespoons of filling into the wonton pocket, taking care not to rip the wrapper.
Dip a pastry brush in reserved flour paste and lightly brush flap of the open pocket to prepare it for sealing.
Fold prepared edge over, pressing down to seal pocket and form a triangle-shaped samosa. Repeat with the remaining wrappers.
In a blender, combine 1 cup each cilantro and mint leaves (about 6 ounces of each); 2 serrano peppers, seeds and stems removed, finely chopped; 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice; 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic; 1 tablespoon toasted cumin seeds; ¾ tablespoon salt; and ½ cup water. Process on high speed until a thick sauce forms (you should be able to spoon it onto a plate), adding more water, a tablespoon at a time, as needed, to reach desired consistency. Taste and adjust salt, if needed. Store refrigerated for up to 3 days; garnish with a pinch of lemon zest, if desired, before serving. Makes about 1 cup.
In a blender, combine 1 quart whole-milk yogurt; 1 finely chopped medium red onion (about 1 cup); 1 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves, plus a few stems; ½ cup finely chopped mint leaves; ¼ cup fresh lemon juice; 1 tablespoon ground coriander; and 1 teaspoon salt. Process on high speed until sauce is smooth and creamy. Store refrigerated for up to a week. Makes about 1½ quarts.