How To Make Jumping Chicken Samosa Recipe by Cyrus Todiwala

A samosa is simply a pastry filled with a variety of fillings, shaped into a triangle and deep-fried.

Every community has their own ways of making the fillings and pastry, as well as added differences between the Muslim and Hindu variations.

However, a certain Memon gentlemen, Mr Ebrahim, used to visit Bombay’s famous Juhu Beach every evening with a helper carrying a huge basket of hot, hot samosas.

They were so hot with minced chillies that they literally made you jump. He was seen and heard shouting, ‘Jumping chicken, chicken is jumping!’ and people would throng and hundreds of the samosas would vanish in minutes.

The word tikkha means ‘chilli hot’. Ours, of course, are milder than what you get in Bombay, but you can turn the spicing all the way up (or down) if you like.

Use minced (ground) lamb, beef, venison, lean pork or game instead of chicken, too.

Note, if you buy dried wrappers, each one will have to be dipped in water
before cutting and filling.

You can cheat and use filo pastry if necessary.
Make sure you get all the ingredients prepared before you start.

Excerpt from Mr Todiwala’s Bombay by Cyrus Todiwala (Hardie Grant, £24), Photography by Helen Cathcart

Ingredients for Tikkha murghi na Samosa

  • 1 tsp ground turmeric

  • 2 tsp chilli powder

  • 1 heaped tbsp curry powder

  • 2 tsp garam masala

  • 450 ml (15 fl oz / 2 cups) water

  • 3 tbsp sunflower or rapeseed (canola) oil

  • 30–40 curry leaves (preferably fresh), finely shredded or chopped like parsley

  • 8–10 thin green chillies, finely chopped

  • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds

  • 100 g (3 ½ oz / ½ cup) ginger and garlic paste, or use 50 g (13/4 oz) each of garlic

  • Cloves and fresh ginger, crushed to a paste together

  • 4–5 small onions, finely chopped

  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) minced (ground) chicken

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz / 3. cups) fresh shelled or frozen peas, blanched for

  • 2 minutes and drained

  • 5–6 sprigs of mint, leaves picked and finely shredded

  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro)

  • 250 g (9 oz) packet (50 sheets) frozen small spring roll wrappers, about 15 cm (6 in) square, thawed (Singaporian or Malaysian are best)

  • 2 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour, for sealing groundnut (peanut) oil (or rapeseed [canola]), for deep-frying

    To serve

  • Fresh green chutney

How to make Tikkha murghi na Samosa: Jumping Chicken

  1. Blend the turmeric, chilli and curry powders and the garam masala with 200 ml (7 fl oz / scant 1 cup) of the water. Beat this masala well with a spoon, cover and set aside.

  2. Heat the oil in a wok or a flameproof casserole until you see a haze.

  3. Add the curry leaves and green chillies, then the cumin seeds. Stir for a few seconds until fragrant, then add the ginger and garlic. Saute until the garlic begins to change colour slightly, then add the onions and saute until soft but not brown, about 4 minutes. Stir and scrape the base of the casserole well with a flat wooden spatula to prevent sticking.

  4. When the onions are soft, add the prepared masala. Rinse out the masala bowl with a splash more water and add too. Cook, stirring for a few minutes, until the water has evaporated and the aroma is rich and not raw smelling.

  5. Add the remaining 250 ml (8 fl oz / 1 cup) of water, remove the pan from the heat and add the mince. Blend well until it is smooth with no lumps. Return to the heat, increase the heat and cook, stirring frequently until the mince is cooked through and most of the liquid has evaporated.

  6. Add the peas and herbs and remove from the heat. If there is fat on the surface, strain the mixture through a sieve (strainer) to remove it. Taste and re-season, if necessary. Leave until cold.

  7. Now to make the samosas. You must keep a damp cloth ready to cover the pastry as you work on the individual samosas. Place the stack of spring roll sheets on a board. Using a tea plate or large saucer as a guide, place on top and cut round it, using a sharp thin-tipped knife, through the entire stack to make round discs. The trimmings can be cut into small pieces, deep-fried and either eaten as they are, or mixed in a chaat for added bite.

  8. Now cut the disc into half and keep one pile on top of the other. Cover with a damp cloth (and keep them covered all the time you are working on each samosa).

  9. You will also need a sealant to stick the samosa edges together. Mix the flour with a little water until you have a porridge consistency.

  10. Peel off the top two semicircular sheets (a single sheet is too thin for this and will not make a good samosa). Now, taking one edge of the semicircle, fold it over to the centre and, applying a dab of flour paste with a pastry brush, stick the edge. Then, folding the other edge over, make it into a cone, making sure the lower tip is fully sealed with no hole at the point. Seal that edge too.

  11. Fill the cone to about 2 cm (3/4 in) from the top. Then fold one side of the top edge in over the filling, apply a dab of the paste and fold the other edge over the top.

  12. Rub your fingers over it a few times until you are sure the samosa is well sealed. Repeat until all the samosas are made.

  13. Heat the oil for deep-frying in a wok (the oil should be the same depth as a samosa) to 180ºC (350ºF) or until a cube of day-old bread browns in 30 seconds and deep-fry the samosas until crisp and golden, about 3–4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and enjoy with fresh green chutney.

© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024

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