Sweet samosas to me speak of comforting treats and warm spring days with a cup of chai sitting by the garden, embalmed in the humidity of a Karachi afternoon. My Nani and I always shared a silent or rather animated afternoon with a cup of her perfect cardamom chai and either a Rusk dipped in the chai or sweet samosa of bananas, guavas or coconut, and sometimes just with sweet Khoya (milk solids). What always drew me into the afternoon was the heavy scent of Marigold’s and Motia’s in the air – rich and heavy with the day’s sunshine, they would take a sigh of relief in the moist but lightly sunny afternoon of Karachi – the sea breeze would suffocate them but they wouldn’t bow their head’s in shame.
When I moved to the UK, I always searched for the perfectly banana tasting banana or guavas but reminded myself that nothing here that isn’t grown here is ever really seasonal. In my search for the perfect sweet samosa filling I came across the humble Rhubarb. Seasonal and vibrant, tangy yet with an intense ability to soak in sweetness. Sitting on a fine line of being turned from savoury to sweet – it’s one of the most comforting flavours I have found in the UK. There is nothing like it in Pakistan, but I like to compare it’s comforting aroma to that of the sweetness of pink guavas and the tartness of Falsa (a berry only found in the Sub-Continent)…To me the marriage of the flavours of the tarty Rhubarb against the earthy moistness of Marigold and the floral essence of cardamom not only takes me home to the embalming warm afternoons of Karachi but mingles with them the new experiences in flavour I have had in the UK. Nani Mummy would approve, as she sip’s her cardamom infused chai up there somewhere…
Serves: To make 6-8 samosas
Timing: Takes about 15 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to cook
250 g chopped Rhubarb
50 g caster sugar
1/2 tsp ground cardamom seeds
1 tbsp dried Marigold flowers, I’ve used Steenberg’s dried Marigolds
6-8 samosa pastry sheets or filo pastry cut into 2 inch strips
Vegetable oil to shallow fry and seal the samosas
1. Make the Rhubarb compote by cooking the fruit with sugar and about 1/2 cup of water until fruit is soft and pulpy
2. Once ready, strain the compote using a sieve to ensure all moisture leaves the compote. You can reserve the liquid to decorate plate or use in porridge for breakfast! Add cardamom and marigold flowers
3. Lay out samosa sheets or filo and starting at one end place a tablespoon of the compote on one corner of the pastry and fold into a triangle, using a pastry brush, brush a little oil as to fold the pastry into a samosa
4. Once all samosas are ready, heat oil in a frying pan and gently fry them until light golden brown. Serve hot.