Tikkha murghi na samosa

Tikkha murghi na samosa

Jumping chicken samosa

Mr Todiwala's Bombay
Helen Cathcart

There is no Indian equivalent name – this is universal and very special. A samosa is simply a pastry filled with a variety of fillings, shaped into a triangle and deep-fried. Samosas vary across the length and breadth of the subcontinent. 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. Job done, he would retire and the sugar cane juice man who he stood next to, would be thumping with business as people doused their mouths. I was told that Mr Ebrahim also owned the juice stall!

The word tikkha means ‘chilli hot’ (and is also used to refer to a woman with a fiery-hot temper!). 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 lamb, beef, venison, lean pork or game instead of chicken, too.


Quantity Ingredient
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons chilli powder
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
450ml water
3 tablespoons sunflower or rapeseed oil
30-40 curry leaves, preferably fresh, finely shredded or chopped
8-10 thin green chillies, finely chopped
1kg minced chicken
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
100g ginger and garlic paste
or 50 g each garlic cloves and fresh ginger, crushed together to form a paste
4-5 small onions, finely chopped
500g fresh shelled or frozen peas, blanched for 2 minutes and drained
5-6 sprigs mint, leaves picked and finely shredded
2 tablespoons coriander, chopped
250g frozen small spring roll wrappers, 15 cm square, thawed
2 tablespoons plain flour, for sealing

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
* hari chutney [rid:9945]


  1. Make sure you get all the ingredients prepared before you start.
  2. Blend the turmeric, chilli and curry powders and the garam masala with 200 ml of the water. Beat this masala well with a spoon, cover and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok or a flameproof casserole until you see a haze. Add the curry leaves and green chillies, then the cumin seeds. Stir for a few seconds until fragrant then add the ginger and garlic. Sauté until the garlic begins to change colour slightly then add the onions and sauté 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 of water, remove the pan from the heat and add the mince. Blend well until it is smooth and fully blended 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 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 2 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Fill the cone to about 2 cm from the top.
  13. 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.
  14. Rub your fingers over it a few times until you are sure the samosa is well sealed. Repeat until all the samosas are made.
  15. Heat the oil for deep-frying to 180°C 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.


  • 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.
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