The Bengali New Year or Poila Boishakh is just round the corner and this is a special recipe for the special occasion. Also it will complete one year of my blog. This is the first one in the series. ‘Kolkatar Singara’…. does this stir up any pleasant memory in your mind? Well, it does for me. A Bong at heart I can never erase these wonderful gastronomic experiences in Kolkata during my younger days there. Singara is a Bong name for samosas, a triangular Indian pastry with mainly savoury stuffing of spiced potatoes, peas etc., but the flavour is strictly Bengali. The stuffing, taste, texture everything is just out of the world, a class apart, incomparable with any samosas I have tasted after that.
‘Singaras’ are available at almost all the sweet shops of Kolkata but Dwarik Ghosh and Balaram Mullick demand a special mention for mastering the culinary art of making ever delightful Bong singaras. The singaras were not much large in size, the outer coating of the patty was of maida/ all purpose flour, the stuffing consisted of alu/potato, phulkopi/cauliflower, peanuts, koraishunti/peas, much less spicy than the samosas, soft yet crispy with the flavour of cauliflower and peas in every mouthful, I could devour almost five to six at a time!! This is the most favourite Bong snack, a signature creation you can say… and no adda is ever complete without ‘singara’ and ‘cha’(tea) in Kolkata. Do NOT miss these if you are visiting the city.
An humble try to recreate ‘Singara’ was worth it and a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I was successful at replicating that same divine taste which I had savoured so many years ago.
How I made it:
For the outer coating:
- 150 gms maida/all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- A pinch of salt
- A little white oil
For the stuffing:
- 2 large potatoes boiled
- ½ a cauliflower separated into small florets
- A fistful of green peas
- A fistful of peanuts
- ½ tsp ginger paste
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 3-4 green chilies chopped
- Salt n sugar to taste
- White oil for frying
Knead the flour into a soft dough with all the ingredients for outer coating mentioned above and water. Keep aside covered.
Heat oil in a wok and fry the cauliflower florets and peas. When the cauliflowers turn brownish add the ginger paste, green chilies and turmeric powder. Saute well.
Add the boiled potatoes. Mash while stirring. Add the peanuts, salt and sugar. Mix well all of them together. The stuffing is ready.
Take the kneaded dough and tear a little from it. Roll it a little thicker than and into a size a little bigger than a poori. Cut it into half. These two halves will make two singaras.
Take one half and join the edges securely, applying a little water on them. The stuffing will not spill out this way. Now make a funnel with it placing between the thumb and index finger. Put the stuffing into the funnel and fold the edges giving it the triangular shape of a samosa. In this way make the rest.
Take sufficient oil in a big kadai/wok and put all the samosas in it without heating the oil, the singaras will not turn brown if you do it this way. Now heat the oil and fry them.
Take out straining the excess oil and serve hot with tomato sauce or chutney of your choice accompanied with tea of course. :D