Margaret Fulton Favourites
Tanya Zouev and Armelle Habib

At sunset, many Indian families and friends gather together. It was at one such occasion in Assam that I was introduced to samosas. Under the shade of a great spreading tree, we nibbled at these crispy pastries containing subtly spiced fillings of meat and vegetables and sipped freshly made tea or iced gin and tonics. As I gazed at the sunset beyond the neat rows of the tea plantation bordered by jungle, I commented that it was the nearest I’d been to a jungle. My hosts replied, ‘Oh, we’ll get Raja to take you in tomorrow, you might see that tiger that’s been hanging around, or at least a one-horned rhinoceros.’ Imagine my surprise when I was taken to meet Raja — an enormous gentle elephant — for my first elephant ride into the jungle. When I want to relive the experience I make these samosas.



Quantity Ingredient
1 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ghee or butter
3-4 tablespoons lukewarm water


Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon ghee
2cm piece green ginger, grated
2 onions, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
250g minced lamb
1 tomato, peeled and chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
a little milk
oil, for deep-frying


  1. To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Rub in ghee or butter with fingertips. Add the water and knead the pastry in the bowl to form a stiff dough. Cover the bowl with a cloth and allow to stand while preparing the filling.
  2. To make the filling, heat the ghee and gently fry the ginger, half the onions and all of the mint until the onions are soft and golden. Stir in the curry powder and salt and fry for 2–3 minutes. Add the lamb and cook for 5 minutes, stirring. Add tomato. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally, until any moisture has evaporated. Add the lemon juice and garam masala. Cool and add remaining onions.
  3. Divide the pastry into 12 even-sized pieces. Shape each into a ball and roll out on a lightly floured board to the size of a small saucer, keeping the shape round. Cut each circle in half and moisten the edges with milk. Place a small spoonful of filling on one side of the half-round and fold the other side over. Press the edges together well. If you like, roll and crimp the edges for a decorative effect.
  4. Heat the oil in a heavy pan or wok and fry the samosas, a few at a time, until golden and puffed. Drain on paper towels and serve hot. Chilli sauce or chutney may be offered for dipping.
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