Roasted Butternut Squash Samosas with a Peanut Sambal

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I love freshly cooked samosas. The best veggie samosas I have ever eaten were in a petrol station in Mombasa, Kenya. An unlikely location for great food but that is often the case. Samosas need to be crispy but not fatty and have plenty of filling inside. I cook these in the oven rather than deep frying. I had some roasted butternut squash left over from the couscous salad recipe and decided to use that. It worked really well. Proper samosa pastry is thick and lovely but ehere I use shop bought filo pastry which is easier and lighter. It does take a while to make these but you get much quicke after the first one.

The sambal can be served with curries as well as used as a chutney with cold food.

Makes 6 samosas
Preparation time 30 minutes
Cooking time 20 minutes

Ingredients
For the samosas
A small butternut squash roasted with seeds and skin removed
Half a large onion cut into fine slices
A clove of garlic, a thumbnail size piece of fresh ginger and a small chilli blitzed into a paste or finely chopped
Half a teaspoon of mustard seeds and half a teapsoon of cumin seeds
Oil for frying
12 triangular sheets of filo pastry
Salt and pepper to taste

For the sambal
2 handfuls of roasted peanuts
A handful of fresh coriander
6 cherry tomatoes
1 chilli
A teaspoon of lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the seeds. Allow to toast a little then add the onions and garlic, chilli, ginger paste. Cook until the onions are soft and starting to caramelise. In the meantime, mash the butternut squash in a large bowl and add the onion mixture when it is ready. Stir together well and season to taste.

You now need to construct the samosas by following the pictures. Use the pastry two sheets thick and keep the pastry moist by covering with a damp tea towel. Moisten the edges with water at each stage so they stick together well. Once this is done brush them all over with oil and place in an oiled baking tray. Cook at 170 degrees celsius for 20 minutes. Turn half way through so they are brown on each side.

While the samosas are cooking, make the sambal by combining all of the ingredients in a food processor and blitzing until it is smooth. Season to taste.

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Creamy Coconut Dahl

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It is so hard to get good, vegan, Indian food in Berlin. Dave and I have never eaten so little Indian food in the last 20 years. As I have said before, I love dahl for both feast and famine situations. This dahl is a more luxurious dish than the chana dahl with spinach. It has lots of coconut milk to make it creamy. If you can get fresh curry leaves it would taste even more authentic but I cannot get them here. This is just as nice served with rice or bread. We also ate the peanut sambal with this that I had made to go with the samosas.

Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour
Ingredients

200g of chana dahl precooked
A medium onion finely sliced
Oil for frying
A teaspoon of mustard seeds
Half a teapsoon of cumin seeds
A pinch of aniseeds
2 heaped teaspoons of garam masala
A paste made of a thumbnail size piece of fresh ginger, 2 cloves of garlic and 2 small chillis
125ml of coconut milk
2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
2 tablespoons of water
A handful of chopped frsh coriander

Heat the oil and add the seeds and garam masala and toast for a minute before adding the onion. Cook for 5 minutes until the onion is soft then add the tomatoes and the ginger, garlic, chilli paste and a tablespoon of water. Cook over a low light for about 10-15 minutes, adding more water if necessary. The tomatoes should be soft. Place the whole contents of the pan into a blender and blend with a tablespoon of coconut milk. Return the blended paste to the pan and add the dahl which has been pre-cooked. Add the rest of the coconut milk and half of the corainder and stir well. Bring to the boil then simmer for about another 15 minutes until it is thick and creamy. If it starts sticking to the pan, add a little water. Season to taste and garnish with the remaining coriander.