We are just a few days from the official start of the holiday season, which means everyone is preparing for many family dinners, holiday parties, and get-togethers with friends. First up is Thanksgiving! This year, I have several out-of-town family members coming to stay with me and I am in charge of the menu on Thanksgiving. After much thought (and many drafts), I came up with a menu that I hope will please everyone. The one dish I'm making that I know everyone will definitely love is my favorite go-to party snack: Samosa Pinwheels!
A samosa is a savory snack food consisting of a flaky pasty filled with either vegetables or meat. In India, most samosas you will find are filled with a combination of spiced potatoes and peas. I have always loved samosas, but when I was younger I would often eat the pastry shell (because it was fried and delicious) and leave half of the filling on my plate. That is why I love this modern take on the samosa--you get both pasty and filling with every single bite!
This is one of my mom's recipes and is one of my favorite foods she makes. She would often make them for parties because they were so popular and easy to eat in just two bites. I have fond memories of coming home from school on a day my mom was home from work early, and to my delight she had made samosa pinwheels for us. Really, what is not to like: puff pasty, potatoes, and sesame seeds ... um, yes!
Another rainy day, another "comfort" recipe. Fall is in full swing and the cooler temperatures and wet weather have led me to make lots of warm and seasonal foods. One of my favorite Indian foods is the simple paratha: a layered flatbread made with whole wheat flour. There aren't many foods that, for me, are more comforting than a hot paratha right off the tava (grill pan). I even eat them by themselves without any accompaniments.
In northern India, there are dozens of types of breads. Growing up, my favorite was naan; I think this is because naan tends to be slathered with butter and is made of white flour. As I've gotten older, though, parathas have become my absolute favorite. I love that they are healthy because they are made of whole wheat flour, and I love that you can pick the layers apart as you eat them. The first time I helped make parathas was with my mother-in-law. I never knew how easy they were to make! Making them with her inspired me to try my hand at making them myself.
You will find many types of parathas: they can be plain; stuffed with potatoes or lentils; or flavored with herbs and spices, like mint or fenugreek. I had some leftover thyme from another recipe, and as I was smelling it I was reminded of a seed often used in Indian breads: ajwain. My mother-in-law uses ajwain in many of the breads she makes, and I love the taste. So I decided to try making the parathas with thyme.
Exploring Indian cuisine and trying to learn the recipes of my family. I hope to help and inspire others along the way.