This is the last post of my Indian Feast series. When having a feast or celebrating a special occasion you have to have sweets and desserts, right? So this one is about the dessert, although we had so much food, we didn’t really need dessert, but it always appreciated and makes any occasion a special occasion.
My Indian dessert was banana, coconut and cardamom samosas. Usually when I make samosas I make them as a savory dish. I had never thought about making them sweet before. But apparently sweet samosas are very popular in India too, especially for special events and holidays.
Samosas are fried or baked pastries filled with either a savory or sweet filling. They take shape in many different forms, but most commonly as either triangles or half moon shapes, depending on the region they are from. They are popular all over South East Asia, The Middle East, Central Asia, East Africa as well as other parts of the world. They have been around for centuries, and most likely traveled to India from the Ancient Spice or Silk routes. It is believed they originated in the Middle East. The word samosa is a Hindu word, with Persian roots. The word samosa means triangular pastry.
Normally when I make samosas, I fry them, but this time, I actually followed the recipe (a rarity, I know), and it said to bake them, although to be fair, it did also suggest you could fry them, but their preferred method was to bake them. I decided I prefer them fried to baked, but hey I am always up for trying new things. Next time, and there will definitely be a next time for these delicious sweet treats, I will fry them instead of baking them.
Banana, Coconut & Cardamom Samosas
2 large very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
2/3 cup toasted coconut
2 tsp cardamom
2 TBSP light brown sugar
phyllo or filo pastry sheets, cut into strips to make about 20
4-5 oz melted butter
powdered sugar for dusting
1 4-oz bar of chocolate – You can use either dark or white. I chose white chocolate with coconut
1 tsp butter
1 tsp chai tea leaves
If you want to bake these, preheat the oven to 400* F or 200* C. If you prefer to fry them, get a deep skillet or pan and add about 2 inches of vegetable or canola oil. Get the oil to 350* F or 180*C before adding the samosas.
I just toasted the coconut in a dry skillet on the stove. It browns very quickly, so watch it. You do not want to burn it. This is optional, but I prefer toasted coconut to plain. If toasting it, you just want it lightly golden.
Mash the bananas completely, then add the toasted coconut, brown sugar and the cardamom and combine thoroughly.
Working with phyllo or filo dough can be very tricky. It is a very delicate dough that needs to be kept moist. As you are working with the dough, keep the rest covered with a damp towel so it doesn’t dry out. If it dries, it is close to impossible to work with. I actually used two towels. One dry, and then I added the damp towel on top of the dry towel so the dough did not get wet or mushy.
Get two sheets of the dough and carefully spread it out and brush the melted butter all over the top.
Cut the dough into strips about 2 inches wide. Add a dollop of the banana mixture at the top then carefully fold it over until you have a triangle. Keep folding until you have used the whole strip. Fold it like you are folding a flag. Carefully fold the end pieces into the seam to seal the pastry. Continue until the filling is done.
Once all the triangle pastries are made, brush them with more melted butter. At this point, you can cover and refrigerate them for a awhile until you are ready to cook them, either by pan frying or by baking them.
Either way you prepare them, it won’t take long to cook them. If you are baking them, bake them at 400* F or 200* C for about 4 minutes. If you are frying them, fry them until they are lightly golden. Allow them to cool completely then dust with the powdered sugar.
The sauce is easy to make too. I used white chocolate with coconut, mixed with the chai tea and a little butter, but dark chocolate is great too. Just melt it all down until it becomes a liquid, then drizzle it over the samosas.
I topped them with the sauce and then served them with ice cream and added a sprinkle of chai leaves on top.
They were delicious. They were so light and airy. You could also add some golden sultanas or golden raisins too, both inside the filling and to top them.
These are the books I used for my recipes and my inspirations for this fabulous feast. It was a feast enjoyed by all.
Stay warm, stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.