You’ve heard of Samosas, right? They’re those triangle-shaped savory pastries served in Indian and Central Asian restaurants. They’re a surprisingly ancient dish, first mentioned in the Middle East (under the name Sambosa) during the 10th century before eventually making their way across Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and even Southeast Asia. They’re practically everywhere today – you can even find them pretty easily in South Africa, as Indian cuisine started to influence British colonial food culture.
I loved Samosas in my pre-Paleo days, and I’ve been wanting to tackle them for a while. The problem is, well, pastry. I tend not to fiddle with baked goods and leave them up to the masters (see: Jenni Hulet and her book, My Paleo Patisserie). So after a bit of brainstorming, I settled on the idea of Samosa-flavored mashed potatoes. I like this idea because, heck, most people are probably eating mashed potatoes anyway, so why not kick them up a notch in terms of flavor and vegetable count.
What makes this dish fun is that it packs a wallop of flavor with only a little bit of extra cooking time. Since mashed potatoes have so much hands-off time, we fill that time with whipping up the mix-ins you see above. Multitasking ftw.
Samosa Mashed Potatoes (Gluten-free, Paleo, Perfect Health Diet, Whole30-friendly)
4 tbsp ghee, divided
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 pinch mustard seeds (black preferred, yellow okay)
1/2 red onion, coarsely chopped
2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped (optional)
2 carrots, chopped
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp mild curry powder
1 tsp salt, more to taste
1/2 tsp ground ginger (or 1/2″ fresh ginger, minced)
1/2 white pepper
1 cup frozen peas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup heavy cream or coconut milk
1 handful cilantro, chopped
1. In a skillet, heat 2 tbsp of the ghee over medium heat until shimmering, about 1 minute. Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds, and cook until the mustard seeds start to pop, about 1 minute, then add the onion. Toss the onion in the ghee then reduce heat to low; allow to sauté and caramelize for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. This is a good time to slice and prep your other ingredients.
2. Add the potatoes to a large stockpot and fill with enough water to cover the potatoes by at least 1″. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are easily pierced by a fork, about 15 minutes.
3. About 10 minutes before the potatoes are ready, let’s finish the mix-ins. Increase the skillet heat to medium, then add the garlic and jalapeño. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the carrots. Sauté until the carrots are softened, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally; stir in the garam masala, curry powder, salt, and white pepper, then gently stir in the peas and remove from heat.
4. When the potatoes are ready, strain them through a colander and drain for a second, then return them to the stockpot. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of ghee and the cream or coconut milk, then mash with a hand masher or fork until mostly mashed but still chunky. Stir in the mix-ins and cilantro, then taste, adding salt, white pepper, or ghee as needed, then serve.
** This dish can be used the next day to make Samosa Patties; simply form the cold potato mixture into patties and pan-fry over med/high heat in some ghee. Delicious!
** To make this a full meal, add 1 lb ground beef or lamb to the skillet when you add the onion, and reduce heat to low once the meat is no longer pink; finish the rest of the recipe as indicated.