One lovely day, Lauren met Fritz. Fritz is South African. South African food is influenced by all sorts of different countries than American food is. It is delicious. Fritz taught Lauren about braais, boerewors, samosas, melk tert, rusks, rooibos tea, droerwors, biltong, Mrs. Ball’s chutney, amarula, and lamb roasts.
Lauren married Fritz. Immediately.
Seriously, though, I may have been born into the wrong country. My entire family fully embraced all things South African after meeting the Zietsmans–we had a lamb roast at our rehearsal dinner, my mom makes rusks more often than I do, and everyone drinks rooibos tea. My dad even gave a blessing in Afrikaans at our wedding.
It’s so wonderful when families blend as well as ours did.
So as a tribute to food that Fritz loves, I was ecstatic when I stumbled upon a recipe for an Indian samosa casserole in Vegetarian Times a few days ago. I love to make things that I know he will be excited to have (on one of our first dates I made him bobotie to surprise him–and perhaps demonstrate my eligibility as a bride), and this proved to be just as successful as I expected.
Fritz ranked this right up there in the list of “vegetarian things I don’t mind not containing meat”. Now if this did contain, say, ground lamb, I am quite certain he would not object–so feel free to add that if you want a non-vegetarian version. I also doubled the recipe so that I could bake one for dinner and freeze one for some other day–the recipe says you can freeze it for up to four months!
Indian Samosa Casserole (from Vegetarian Times; makes one casserole)
- 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 1/2 C whole-wheat flour
- 1/4 t salt
- 1/4 t curry powder
- 2 T vegetable oil
- 1/2 T mustard (I used spicy)
- 1 t curry powder
- 1/2 T minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 t ground cumin
- 1/8 t red pepper flakes
- 5 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped (1 1/4 lbs)
- 1 t vegetable oil
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 C frozen peas
- 1 C veggie or chicken broth
- 2 t sugar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. To make the crust, whisk together the dry ingredients and add oil–stir until clumps form. Slowly add 6-10 (I only needed 6) T cold water until the dough sticks together (this is roughly a million times easier if you use your kitchen-aid). Cover dough with a damp towel and set aside.
Next, boil the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes. Roughly mash them (you want some chunks of potato leftover) and set aside.
Side note: I always misspell potatoes. I spell it potatos. Every time. Tomatoes, too. Thank goodness for spell check.
Anyway, heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté the onions, carrots, ginger, and garlic until the carrots are tender (about five minutes). Push the onion mixture to one side, and add the mustard, curry, cumin, and pepper flakes. Toast ’em for 30 seconds, then mix it all together. Stir in the frozen peas.
Next, add the broth and sugar and stir, making sure to scrape up all the spices from the bottom of the pan. Add this onion mixture to the mashed potatoes, and stir it all up, adding salt and pepper to taste–if you want. That’s your filling!
Spoon into a 9-inch pie plate (or two, if you doubled this recipe like I did).
Set aside, and take out the dough. On a slightly floured surface, roll the dough out into an 11-inch circle (if you doubled the recipe, make two circles…duh). Cover the filling with the dough, pressing down to make sure there are no air pockets. Fold the overhanging crust under, and crimp the edges. Cut an “X” into the middle (to release steam while cooking), and brush the top of the pie with milk. If you are freezing one, leave out the milk step for that one–do it right before you bake it.
For the pie you aren’t baking, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place in a ziplock bag. It’s okay if you squish the beautifully crimped crust a little–Fritz won’t even notice. Then freeze it! To bake it later, preheat the oven to 375 degrees, place on a baking sheet, and bake 75-90 minutes.
For the casserole we are eating tonight, place it on a baking sheet (there’s boil-over potential here, so be kind to yourself), and bake for about 40-50 minutes until the top is golden-brown and you see the filling bubbling up around the edges.
Let stand for five minutes before serving.
Fritz and I really enjoyed this–for a more decadent casserole, you could try using another crust recipe. This one was good (and very healthy) but you could tell it wasn’t a flaky, buttery, pastry crust. You could also try phyllo dough on top. That said, neither Fritz nor I had any complaints as is–the curry powder in the crust was a nice, tasty addition.
I also just ate leftovers as dinner tonight, and after a minute in the microwave it was just as good the second day.
With all that said–it’s back to studying. Have a beautiful night!