Samosas in the Summertime
We are so fortunate here in Los Angeles to be in a culturally diverse city. We are surrounded by beautiful people from different countries. We have opportunities to try a variety of ethnic restaurants and listen to music from across the world.
The best part about it? No passport required! Got some free time? Listen to International music from Uganda or the Ukraine at Walt Disney Music Hall. Want to try some new foods? In one day you can travel to Little Ethiopia and sample gomen and kik alicha or head northeast to Thai town and try some tom yum soup or red curry dishes.
On one particular Saturday we started in Japantown for breakfast at Cafe Dulce for their fruity pebble donut holes and headed south to Badmaash LA for an afternoon of samosa folding. We were invited to this event in preparation for the upcoming release (July 14, 2015) of the Blu-ray/DVD of THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
We were greeted warmly and then introduced to Chef Pawan. After he shared his great entrepreneurial story, the action began and we started to prep for the samosa. We learned that the samosa is a fried or baked pastry with a variety of fun fillings, such as spiced potatoes, onions, peas, lentils. They can also have minced meat, and pine nuts.
I grew up in a Latino household and the Samosa and it's preparation reminded me of empanadas. The spanish word "empanar" describes exactly what you do with these yummy pastry dough after filling it: "wrap" it up! Like with samosas, empanadas are fun to make and even better to eat. Whether you call them samosas, pates or pasteles, these recipes call for stuffing the dough with sweet or savory fillings all of which make them so versatile.
Traditional samosas are made with marsala potatoes and peas with cumin, coriander seeds and ginger with popular butter chicken. On this afternoon, we made breakfast samosas.
As we wrapped, Chef Pawan could be heard saying samosas are "deep-fried awesomeness" and “Its not spicy, it's spices”. Both true statements.
We folded the samosas and started the cooking process. As we waited for them to cook, we talked about what we were all there to hear about: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
From the fact sheet:
THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL is the expansionist dream of Sonny (Dev Patel), and it’s making more claims on his time than he has available, considering his imminent marriage to the love of his life, Sunaina (Tina Desai). Sonny has his eye on a promising property now that his first venture, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful, has only a single remaining vacancy – posing a rooming predicament for fresh arrivals Guy (Richard Gere) and Lavinia (Tamsin Greig). Evelyn and Douglas (Judi Dench and Bill Nighy) have now joined the Jaipur workforce, and are wondering where their regular dates for Chilla pancakes will lead, while Norman and Carol (Ronald Pickup and Diana Hardcastle) are negotiating the tricky waters of an exclusive relationship, as Madge (Celia Imrie) juggles two eligible and very wealthy suitors. Perhaps the only one who may know the answers is newly installed co-manager of the hotel, Muriel (Maggie Smith), the keeper of everyone's secrets. As the demands of a traditional Indian wedding threaten to engulf them all, an unexpected way forward presents itself.
Aww, samosa completion! So good. And with that we left knowing a little bit more about Indian culture, met some great folks, tried new foods. Chef Pawan liked to use the word "badass". You know what's badass? Samosas, Chef Pawan, Badmaash LA and the upcoming release of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I will be sure to include in my video library.