Well, todays post started off with a total heart attack when I logged onto my site only to find it was gone! I saw the photo of that annoying smiling lady when I typed in my page, to no avail.
I frantically started a chat with Hostgator support and tweeted to @HGSupport “where is my site??” All kind of horror scenarios came to mind and I was immediately transported to poor Charlie’s at Hotly Spiced lost website nightmare. I couldn’t believe that just last week I was raving in a comment on Charles’ blog, Five Euro Food how great Hostgator is! And here I was yesterday, frantically waiting the 15 minutes to get a live chat person.
Come to find out, thanks to @HGSupport, my domain name expired. Great, I got no email, no warning, no nothing, just a page with that annoying blonde lady smiling. How could I have forgotten to renew my domain name??? Last year, I moved hosting companies and also transferred my domain name to Hostgator. They apparently, didn’t add it to my billing account and so they didn’t inform me of the upcoming renewal.
Well, I got on it quickly enough just incase there was someone waiting to steal my name 🙂 Thankfully, nobody wanted it that badly. Within a few hours my site was back and I was able to type up my post.
However, because of a mistake that was out of my control, I lost my page and my views from midnight till 2 pm. With Ramadan hours, I’ve been sleeping in later than usual after my morning breakfast and so don’t check my site till much later in the morning or afternoon.
It’s just frustrating though. But I guess I didn’t lose all my information or anything. That would be just horrible. But this scare has made me realise that I have to be on top of everything and not count on the host company to remind me of my important due dates. Also, I need to update my site and do check ups and back ups. Charles from Five Euro Food has done an excellent series of posts on optimising your blogs and he has some great information. Please go and check out his hard work if you are interested in doing some updating and clean up of your websites.
So, my heart has finally stopped pounding and I can go on and tell you about my next family favourite food during Ramadan. I actually made two kinds of stuffed pastry, but in the interest of time and overly extending this post I will post them separately. Up first, the potato samosas.
I know everyone has heard of samosas stuffed with spicy potato filling and quite sure many of you have tried these at Indian restaurants, shops or even from the freezer section of your local grocery store.
They are very popular with Indians and non Indians alike and rightly so. What’s not to like about spicy potatoes stuffed inside thin pastry and fried until crispy and golden brown? Serve with a dipping sauce of tamarind chutney, or mint-cilantro chutney or good ole ketchup. We like our fried treats with a ketchup-sriracha sauce combination.
This is by no means the true authentic potato samosa recipe because there are so many out there. But this is how I make mine and they are pretty good. I also don’t make mine huge because after fasting, you really can’t eat that much so these are a good size for my children. We manage about 2 each.
There is a shortcut method that a lot of people who have access to a tortilleria or even a Costco nearby, employ. If you can get your hands on some uncooked tortillas, you can very easily halve them, stuff them with your choice of filling, seal them with water or flour water glue and fry them. They will turn out just as well. I did use this method a couple of times last year because the Costco near us sells uncooked tortillas in their refrigerated section. Ever since I’ve gone “whole food”, I haven’t bought them. I’ve gone back to making my own from scratch.
Serves: about 18 depending on size
- 2 cups/240g all purpose/plain flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ajwain seeds (thymol seeds, ajwon seeds, bishops weed)
- ½ cup/118mL water (may need more or less depending on flour)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil/avocado oil
- 5 medium potatoes, boiled and coarsely mashed
- 2 tablespoon oil : coconut, olive or avocado
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon crushed coriander seeds (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 dried red chillies
- ½ teaspoon red cayenne chilli
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- oil for frying: peanut, sunflower, avocado or coconut
- Heat the oil in a fry pan until hot.
- Add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds if using, and dried red chillies.
- When fragrant and popping slightly, add the mashed potatoes and mix through.
- Add the red cayenne chilli, turmeric and ground coriander powder and mix through.
- Add the salt and check to see if seasoned properly.
- Pull off the heat and tip onto a plate to cool.
- Let the filling cool before stuffing the pastry
- Make the dough for the pastry.
- Add the salt, oil and the ajwain seeds to the flour and mix.
- Add water little at a time to make a soft dough.
- You may need more or less water depending on how dry your flour is.
- At high altitudes like mine, we have a drier climate so I always need more water for my flour.
- Mine took about ⅔ cups.
- Just start with ½ cup water, add little by little till you get a nice soft, not sticky dough.
- Put aside to rest.
- Once the dough has rested for about 15 minutes, portion out into 18 balls.
- Roll out the ball of dough to about 6 inches(15cm) round and ¼ inch (6.5mm) thick.
- If you roll it out to thin, the potato mixture tends to break through and the dough also sticks while you are rolling and shaping the rest.
- You can roll out several and keep covered before stuffing with the mixture.
- Using a pizza cutter cut the round in half to get 2 semi circles.
- A paste of flour and water to make glue, tends to work better to seal the samosas.
- Rub the cut straight edges with some glue and taking into your hands, overlap the edges slightly to seal the pastry into a cone shape.
- Press firmly to seal.
- Add a teaspoon of potato into the cone, don't over fill, but with enough potato and still room to seal the edge shut.
- Smear some more glue on the top edges of the open pastry and seal shut.
- You can use a fork to crimp the edges.
- Place on a floured tray or one lined with parchment paper.
- You can leave them uncovered while shaping the rest so the dough can dry out a bit.
- I left mine uncovered in the fridge to fry the next day too.
- Pastry comes out nice and crisp.
- Once again, I don't 'deep fry'.
- My deep frying is about an inch or inch and a half of oil in my cast iron skillet.
- I drop in about 4 or 5 samosas at a time and let them brown.
- Flip over and brown the second side and then drain on paper towels.
- Repeat with the rest.
- Serve with chutneys or ketchup and hot sauce.
Hope you all have great things planned for this weekend! I will be busy cleaning 40 (18kg) pounds of chicken breasts for the Iftar dinner on Monday that my friend and I are hosting at the Islamic Centre. Butter Chicken is on the menu and Peach Cobbler for dessert. Wish me luck!
Have a great weekend!