When the craving for exciting, complex, rich Indian flavours comes calling I reach into my spice cabinet to complement the legumes, nuts, and veggies so prevalent in this plant-forward cuisine. The opposite of lazy cooking to us North Americans, flavours from our favourite Indian restaurants are seemingly impossible to capture at home. Though much of what we taste and experience here is an adaptation of the original dishes prepared traditionally, I can’t help but crave the connection to the culture and feel compelled to celebrate in the feast!
Inspiration struck when I was savouring the deep, rich, flavourful food, known as the samosa from my favourite local Indian restaurant. This recipe originally named the Fully-loaded Spring Samosa, I recognize that the food I created is indeed inspired by this traditional snack but by no means earns the title of a true samosa. As a studied and proud Holistic Nutritionist I realize the luxury of a samosa is something to be celebrated in all its glory but also is not health-supportive for every body. My New Roots is here to share and celebrate flavours, people, culture, and cuisine in a way that helps our physical bodies flourish while also preserving flavours and food memories we hold so dear.
Using rice paper to wrap a deliciously spiced Indian-style filling not only eliminates gluten, but also the need to deep fry. The rice paper becomes crisp in the oven with the smallest brush of melted oil (ghee is delicious and authentic to the Indian flavours, but coconut oil works great for a vegan version). The other bonus is that they are oh so beautiful! The rice paper is transparent, revealing the gorgeous colours and textures of the filling inside—talk about a celebration! Although these are very distant relatives to traditional samosas, I am super pleased with the results and hope you will be too!
- 8 round rice paper wrappers for spring rolls 8.5” / 22cm
- You can also use 16 wrappers and double them up for extra strength
- knob of ghee or coconut oil
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp. minced ginger
- ¾ tsp. sea salt
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ¼ cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
- 3 medium carrots
- 1 ½ cups / 250g green peas
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 2 cups / 75g firmly packed fresh baby spinach
- 1 Tbsp. cumin seeds
- ½ Tbsp. mustard seeds
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- ½ tsp. coriander
- ¼ tsp. cardamom
- ⅛ tsp. cinnamon
- cayenne to taste
- In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast cashews until lightly golden. Remove from heat, roughly chop, and set aside. In the same skillet lightly toast coconut until golden. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Dice onion and carrots to about the size of the peas.
- Heat a knob of oil in a frying pan. Add the cumin and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to “pop” add the onion and the remaining spices and minced ginger. Cook five minutes, then add the garlic. Cook a couple minutes, then add carrots. Stir to coat with spices, cook five minutes, add peas and chickpeas. Remove from heat and stir in spinach, coconut and cashews.
- Pour a couple inches of water into a large flat-bottomed bowl or shallow dish. One at a time, place a rice paper wrap in the water and let soften, just until it becomes pliable (this step is important! Do not let the paper become completely soggy or the rice paper will split while baking. There should still be some pattern visible on the surface). Remove from water and place rice paper on a clean, flat surface. Using a very sharp knife or a pizza cutter, slice the rice paper circle in half. On both halves, place a generous scoop of the filling. Fold the bottom corner about a third of the way up the round side of the half, followed by the top corner to meet the base of the fold you just made, creating a triangle. Fold the round edge up onto the top of the package to seal it, and flip it over. This is now the top of the samosa. Repeat steps with the remaining rice paper and filling.
- Melt about a tablespoon of ghee or coconut oil in a small saucepan. Lightly brush the tops of the samosas with a tiny bit of oil (this will create a nice crisp crust). Sprinkle with coconut if desired.
- Place samosas in a 400°F / 200°C oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and flip over to crisp on the other side. Bake for another 10 minutes until lightly browned and crisp. Remove from oven and serve hot with the Sweet n’ Spicy Mint Chutney.
Sweet n’ Spicy Mint Chutney
- 2 cups firmly packed mint leaves no stems
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp. minced ginger
- 2 Medjool dates
- 1 fresh serrano chili or cayenne pepper to taste
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 Tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil
- salt to taste
- Wash mint leaves well to remove nay dirt. Spin dry.
- In a food processor pulse garlic, ginger, and chili to finely mince. Add dates, mint leaves, lime juice and olive oil. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. Add salt to taste. Add more olive oil to thin, if necessary.
- Serve immediately. Store leftovers in a tightly sealed glass container in the fridge for four days.