Gluten-Free Samosa Recipe!
Having grown up in Winnipeg, I was exposed to all kinds of amazing foods from around the world.
Not so much when I was actually growing up, mind you... but when I was 16 or so and moved out on my own, it was ON.
I was - and still am, albeit from a distance - a HUGE fan of Folkorama, a big cultural festival in Winnipeg. It was a big highlight of my year.
Basically, pretty much every cultural and ethnic group in the city would put on a “Pavilion”. They’d host it in their own community centres, or rent out an ice or curling rink.
Over 2 weeks (There were 2 sets of pavilions, running for a week each), each pavilion was done up in the theme of the hosting group, with artwork, demonstrations, educational materials, and more
They each tend to have a big stage for cultural performances - traditional dances, musical performances, and more. We’d marvel at the professional, adult performers, and *lose our minds* at how cute the child dancers were.
They’d bring in World Champion Irish Step Dancers, they’d have baby Bhangra dancers, and more.
One year, when looking for the washroom, we happened across a coach getting her teeny tiny Scottish Highland dancers ready. Walking them through their routine, she instructed “One, Two... SMUSH THE BUG!”. They really enjoyed it, and it was just such a pure and heartwarming scene.
While the cultural shows were absolutely a highlight for me - just a beautiful spectacle of colours, lights, music, and more - the FOOD was a huge centerpiece of each pavilion.
Each pavilion would be set up to serve up massive amounts of their traditional foods. You could get whole meals, or appetizers, or beverages... whatever you want.
Ah, Folklorama is amazing.
When I was living in Minnesota, I was in relatively easy driving distance of Winnipeg (Not so now, in Hamilton), so I’d drag my husband across the border to go to Folklorama.
The first time took a bunch of convincing. They had something in Minneapolis that he figured was the MN analog to Folklorama, but it wasn’t even close - which he soon realized. After that first trip, he was 100% on board with being SERIOUS about Folklorama trips.
Especially when you’re only in town for a few days - we’d plan to be there for the end of the first and beginning of the second week - You kind of have to plan out your Folklorama experience like you’re planning a full our military mission, or something.
Maps. Show times. Lists of must-sees, must-eats, etc. Driving distances. Info on parking. Notes on which pavilions get too rowdy if we were to go late, and notes on which we WANTED to be there for the rowdy.
What time do we have to leave one pavilion to get to the next, with day/time specific traffic, parking, and lines/wait times considered? Which pavilions allowed for reservations?
All of that went into a giant logic problem to solve, basically.
It was a WHOLE big thing to plan, but with all of that in place, it meant we got to experience everything we wanted, in the most efficient way possible. We avoided most lines, and had a BALL. Ah, I miss Folklorama.
Anyway, Folklorama is how I was first introduced to Haggis, Beet Ketchup, and Moi-Moi - recipes I eventually developed for myself (and blog) so I could have a bit of Folklorama whenever and wherever I wanted.... and it’s how I was (re!)introduced to Samosa.
Now, there are usually 2-3 different Indian Pavilions - India Pavilion, Punjab Pavilion, Tamil Pavilion, IIRC - and I honestly couldn’t tell you which one was where I first had legit samosas - it was a LONG time ago!
While the specific pavilion memory was lost to the years, I’ll never forget that first one. I had no idea what a traditional samosa would be like, at the time - and that’s part of the fun of trying new foods at Folklorama. Everything can be a surprise, the first time!
We’d actually made Samosas in Jr High home ec class (Shout out, Acadia!)... but they weren’t as highly seasoned, and we baked them.
They were OK, but nothing like what we were served at Folklorama. I still have no idea which I should count as my actual intro to samosa - the watered down home ec version, as the first actual exposure, or the Folklorama one, the first LEGIT exposure?
Now that I think about it - adequate seasoning or not - it really was a blessing to grow up somewhere that not only taught cooking at all, but included foreign foods like samosa.
What was a jr high home ec offering for me, was something my husband didn’t have an opportunity to try until he was well into adulthood.
Anyway, that first legitimate one was a little fried pocket of dough, stuffed with curry-seasoned potatoes and vegetables. TONS of flavour... SO good.
The Indian pavilions - usually all of them - were always on my to-visit list, any year I’d go back for Folklorama, and I’d sometimes order some at restaurants in Minneapolis.
... and then I developed a reaction to gluten, and that was the end of that.
As someone who was introduced to samosas as a teen and has loved them ever since, losing them to my gluten allergy was painful! I had to fix that.
While alternative flours are NOT uncommon in Indian food, it was impossible to find a gluten-free samosa, anywhere. So, when I was developing my Beyond Flour 2 cookbook... I knew I’d have to do a gluten-free samosa.
I wanted my gluten-free samosa to be as legit as humanly possible - both in flavour and texture. After some experimentation, I came up with a great samosa dough recipe - it had a great texture, and the taste really worked well with the ingredients.
Part of what makes my gluten-free samosas work so well is the use of garbanzo flour. While garbanzo - aka chickpea - isn’t normally used in samosa dough, it IS a common ingredient in Indian cuisine.
Visually, these end up looking a little different because of the way the starch fries up - staying white, while the rest of the dough browns well - but the taste was perfect. The cilantro mint chutney is quick and easy to make, and works really well with the flavours
in the samosa.
This ends up creating a dough that tastes like it was meant to work for that use - specifically as Indian food, as samosa, with those flavours.
This is why I love developing gluten-free recipes from the ground up - you can really customize the flavours and properties of what you’re making, so it’s just RIGHT.
Anyway, being able to have to freshly made , gluten-free samosas at home, not even having to go to a restaurant, was amazing! They reheated well, too.
There are many different ways to assemble samosas - Many people do flat triangle pockets, many do it more like a pyramid. I first had it as a pyramid, so that's how I do it.
More Indian Food Recipes....
Love Indian food? Be sure to check out these other fabulous Indian - and Indian inspired - recipes!
Butter Chicken Recipe
Chicken Shahi Korma Recipe
Cilantro Chicken Recipe
Cilantro-Mint Chutney Recipe
Gluten-Free Chicken Pakora Recipe
Gluten-Free Mixed Vegetable Pakora Recipe
Gluten-Free Paneer Pakora Recipe
Mango Lassi Popsicles Recipe
Paneer Burgers Recipe
Tandoori Spiced Chicken Burger with Mango Recipe
On to that gluten-free samosa recipe!
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