Kurush F Dalal Profile picture
May 10 β€’ 87 tweets β€’ 37 min read
I have been thinking about samosas for the last week & here is a thread about them. For starters the Samosa comes from West Asia and was originally meat wrapped in a dough cone and fried - the sambusak! The only truly veg versions are all Indian! #Samosa #Sambusak #PunjabiSamosa
I grew up in Mumbai eating what is now known as the Parsi/Bohri Samosa and which I simply knew as a Samosa. Lightly spiced lamb mince cooked with onions, green chillies and corriander, stuffed into a triangular pocket made from flat precooked sheets of samosa patti. #Samosa
These were then slowly fried in hot (not too hot) oil till golded brown & served with a typically Parsi Green chutney made with coconut, mint, corriander, peppercorns, green chutney & lime juice. These treats were rare and cherished! #Samosa
The main reason we got them was dad loved them! He was usually out at sea for months and when he was in Mumbai mum liked to spoil him with all his favourites. We (sibs and I) promptly made sure we swam in this river :D In extreme emergencies Samosas were eaten with Kissan Ketchup
I'm a great fan of ketchup and this is perhaps at the root of that addiction. Much to my surprise I was educated in my teens by my dad that the Parsi Samosa was infact something we borrowed from the #Bohri/Bohra community. A very enterprising community of Muslims from West Asia!
The Bohris came as migrants /refugees from #Persia to India via #Yemen to escape persecution. They are in this matter brothers to the Parsis who did the same many years before them. The 3Bohris and 3Parsis traditionally consider themselves 'cousins' - mama-fuina!
They have a fabulous cuisine with a large West Asian influence and amongst their delicacies are the Samosas ... made for tea, as starters for a meal and very importantly during #Ramzan I cant think of a Bohri home that doesnt eat #samosas! Its like a TamBram home not eating rice!
Now the patti/sheets long rectangles of precooked APF that is rolled thin are made in Mumbai by the #Bohris and I am yet to find any other community that makes them. Everyone buys them from Bohri Farsan shops. Yes the Bohris who landed in #Gujarat are big on #Farsan too :D
So shops in the Bohri Mohalla traditionally make them and then they are usually distributed these days in bulk to other Bohri Farsan Shops across the city. I found out much to my surprise even vegetarians buy them from here! #Samosa #SamosaPatti
My introduction to the Samsa Patti then became more intimate as I was put in charge of purchase for my mum's catering business in the 80s and one of the things we offered at the Elphinstone Club, Ripon Club and PVM Gymkhana (where we ran the canteens) were #Samosas! #MumbaiClubs
Now for a flashback. I was 8 years old when I met my first veg samosa. Today you would call it a Punjabi Samosa I suppose. It was sold on the road outside St Xavier's High School in the short mid morning break by a smiling gentleman in a white kurta pyjama with a white beard
They were sold as Samosas, they were flat, crunchy triangles of fried salty dough with a teaspoon of spicy boiled potatoes. Just potatoes.
2 for 15 paise, 1 for 10 paise! No one bought 1! He served them with a sour orange pumpkin ketchup aka #Kaddusauce on a square of newspaper
I was addicted to these and me and my friends usually bought them as teams of 2 and shared em! I remember telling my grandpa about them & he warned me that telling my mum was probably a bad idea
I wish I knew the old gents name, also struck me that somehow they were piping hot!
My education into the world of Samosa took its next great leap in the movie theatres of Mumbai. St Xavier's had Thursdays off & grandpa and I went to the movies every Thursday. Westerns, Tarzan, Spy thrillers, Animal Docus, War movies, you name them, we saw them! #MumbaiTheatres
Almost every single movie theatre had a concession stall which sold bottled drinks, tea/coffee, soggy sandwiches, icecream and hot smaosa in white butterpaper bags. These were #PunjabiSamosas made in Sion by #A1 and sold in virtually every theatre in Mumbai!
Now this Punjabi Samosa was a new and very exciting animal! It had a different spicing, there was a lot of potato in it and the outside was a flaky almost pastry like consistency! This was falling in love all over again.
Much pleading & pestering on the walk to the theatres would result in a packet once a month! The colddrinks were a no-no, icecream was a summer treat & the sandwiches were terrible!
The #PunjabiSamosas now were the stuff of legend! There was #SimbaChipniks but some other day.
Now the Kheema filled Samosa was a well known Mumbai snack and my dad's generation all got starry eyed when they talked about a small shack called Friend's Cabin next to the Golwalla Baths at Mumbai Reclamation. Both are long since gone but the memories were strong! ASwim&aSamosa
In my early teens I was sent of to boarding school in Panchgani which whilst full of wonders was totally devoid of Samosas! This made the holidays in Mumbai more Samosa filled then ever before! One could emotionally blackmail mum a bit too ;)
On returning to Mumbai at 16 I started working with mum in the mornings and then going to college. Mutton, Chicken, Fish, Groceries and Samosa Patti were on the regular shopping lists alsmost everyday. Round about this time I discovered in the Wilson College Canteen a new avatar!
Something all Wilsonians know, few others have a clue about. The Punjabi Sambhar! 2 small Punjabi Samosas drowned in boiling hot Udupi Sambhar from the Canteen kitchen! #WilsonCollege #PunjabiSambhar All Punjabis & Udupians are never the same after eating this! It was my new joy
I go to Wilson College at least once a year to lecture on a career in #Archaeology at the CEP and do not leave without a plate or two! My friend Mahesh Shetti has them delivered to his Physics lab office for me! The memory rush every single time is amazing! #foodmemories
What was most important was that it didnt matter if the samosas were cold or even a bit limp the sambahr made it a piping hot, value for money meal. My friends Imtiaz, Binit, Ruso, Sanjot, Edgar, Glen, Sally, Aban all seem to be sitting around me every time I eat them #memories
The Samosa education continued when I went an Udupi resto one evening after a very gruelling day of cycling. National Hindiu Hotel in Ballard Pier had hot samosas on offer! I immediately called for a plate and much to my surprise they were large plum Patti Samosas! I was all wow!
And to say I was disappointed was a bit of an understatement! They were filled with a mix of onions and cabbage sliced and stir fried with almost zero spices! Years later I still cant eat these, its probably the only thing I cant eat here! Their dosas are to die for!
My next big Aha! moment was when I encountered the Gujju #VatanaSamosa! This is usually a patti samosa with a spicy green n white pea and fresh coconut mix usually with lime juice, filled into the cone & fried. This is the traditional #ghughra or #ghungroo filling! #GreenPeas
The ghughra is a crescent shaped pastry & is a savoury cousin of the #gujiya - go ahead and disagree with me :)
They are usually made in winters too when the fresh grean peas are abundant. I dont much care for peas but will tolerate ghughra & Gujju Samosas. PS Gujju ie Gujarati
The Gujaratis love their savouries and the Vatana Samosa is a no brainer. More interesting though is the Jain/Dryfruit/Upwaas Samosa! Now this is a tiny patti samosa filled with amix of dal, dryfruits, spices and sugar. A dry mix which keeps the samosa crisp and bottleable!
These tiny lil fellows pack a huge puch, are usually quite spicy, have no onions or garlic in them & have a decently long shelf life. They are eaten by the Jains & Gujaratis and all their friends in large quantities. I have actually seen them prepacked in kilo packs! #jainsamosa
Now the education process is unlimited & the next chapter was the true Punjabi Samosa, fed to me by my Sardar friend Deepu. At his invite I travelled to Sion and ate my first true Punjabi Samosa, huge and threatening smashed slightly, drowned in spicy #Chhole splashed liberally
with spicy green and sticky sweet brown tamarind chutney, sprinkled with chopped onions and served in a plate with teaspoons stuch within! This was a virtual meal by itself!!!! #ChholeSamosa
Not to be outdone my buddy Binit Tanna introduced me to the Samosa Bhel ... yes I kid thou not, the #SamosaBhel. Back in the 90s it was the most VFM meal in SoBo. At the corner of Parsi Dairy Farm road (Shyamaldas Gandhi Marg) and Kalbadevi as you turn right on Kalbadevi road was
an old scruffy building in which stood a shop that sold Samosas, Bhel & Samosa Bhel! Single or Double were the options, smashed hot Punjabi Samosa with extra chopped boiled potato, chopped onions,red green brown chutneys and loads of Sev and a hard Puri or two to use as a spoon!
As I type this I am salivating & abusing Binit for this added addiction! 😍
Trust the Gujju in him to find this salt, fat, dough, tater, and chutney goodness! The red chutney was a garlic bomb, the green a chillie slurry & the brown cooling sweet n sour tamarind, perfect balance
The next truly amazing Samosa experience to shake my world happened many many years later when my mum Katy dreamt up the Chicken Punjabi. This was a medieum size super flaky punjabi samosa with a sweet, sour spicy chicken mince and raisins cooked together and filled in. Doesnt
sound that impressive at first read but the cooked daown to dryness filling has everything you needed without sticky chutney mess, it was carnivore friendly, healthy (chicken stead of lamb) and super yummmmm. It was everything Parsi.
The Persian Sambusak combined with the Khattu-Miththu-Tikhkhu concept of the Gujaratis and the inordinate love for poultry :)

The Parsi Punjabi CHicken Samosa was born and Chhota Ashok was made to master it so that he could reproduce it in his sleep!
Mum is gone to the Great Samosa Shop in the sky these last many years and Ashok has drifted off to new employment. The taste of those Samosas still lingers on ... #PunjabiChickenSamosa #Samosa #ParsiCuisine
I have had many samosas since then and many of them have had much to say about themselves. I moved to #Pune in 1991 to do a PhD in #Archaeology from the @CollegeDeccan and a new chapter in Samosalogy started here :) I was introduced to two great Pune Irani Cafes and their Samosa
I have spoken about the Irani Cafes in another thread on Twitter and have mentioned the unique jumbo Patti Veg Samosas of Cafe Naaz and Cafe Mahanaaz at the corner of Main Street. You were served a loaded plate and two smaller plates were placed next to the 'platter'.
You ate as many as you wanted and the rest were taken back! This was something very new to me. PS Assorted Bakery Cakes were served in an identical manner! These amazing VFM places are gone and their Samosas are part of Pune legend! #IraniCafes #PuneIraniCafes #Samosalogy
The Samaso education continued in Pune with the introduction to the Maharashtrian Samosa, now I honestly dont know if this is an all Maharashtra phenomenon but the Maharastrian Samosa is eith filled with (left over) spiced poha or a poha and potatoes. Whilst I dont mind the
Poha-Potato version the purely Poha version flumoxxes me completely. I am sure it has its fan, I am just not one of them. No offence folks. The best 'Maharashtrian' Samosas I have eaten were the Potato filled slightly soft (uh a bit wilted) ones served by the Vadapau sellers at
#Karjat Station in my Mumbai-Pune up down days. They were made by the famous #DivadkarVadewale and sold by uniformed salesmen, served with a nice spicy dry red chutney and super yummm. After a few years of travelling I realised I preferred these to the legendary #Vadapaus!
The only other 'Maharashtrian' Samoasa I like are the ones made by the 'world femus in mumai' Vadapau man at Bhoiwada, but he deserves a thread of his own or at least a large chunk of a Vada Pau Thread! His version is Patti and full of spiced Potatoes! No Poha AFAIK
There are many different types of Samosas & the Samosa has it afficionados in lands east & west and south & north in India. No part of India exists which doesnt have a twist on the Samosa & veg & non veg varieties abound. Samosas are also big in Pakistan, Bangladesh & Burma!
I am sure my friend @pakistaneats can fill us in with an entire thread on Samosas in Pakistan, the Irani style ones from #Karachi were legendary as were the potato filled blistery covered ones from #Lahore! The kheema samosas are usually beef samosas in Pakistan!
But they also have pizza filled samosas, nutella & chocolate samosas, gulab jamun stuffd samosas & Bihari chicken Samosas at the famous Samosa Kitchen in the Main Market (Gulberg2, Lahore)! So if you are in Lahore do drop in and let me know what you ate and what you thought :)
As you drift east from Lahore the Punjabi Samosa aka just the Samosa in Punjab is truly gigantic and best had with the half liter lassi served there! All over northern India and in the Ganga Valley the Samosa is found in little nooks and crannies. Every village has a shop!
Served with chutneys, chhole or just a fried chilli or 2 they are the fuel on which many a working mans engine runs! Cheap, tasty carboloading 2 burn thru the day! The samosas of Benares esp on the ghats r legendary. Is the Pakistani Bihari Chk version known in Bihar? @Ruchishri
As you get to #Bengal the Samosa changes its name. Here it is known as the #Singada. Smaller still potato filled but also with peanuts & oft times raisins! Fried in Mustard oil it is an emotion in the East! In winter they stuff it with Cauliflower, truly yum. Peas are optionalπŸ˜†
I was introduced to these by by wife (then fiance) @euphoRHEA on our first trip to #Kolkata. I was floored they were so different & were available from the local Mishti shops. Every Kolkatan has their fave sweetmeat shop/roll shop/singara shop and arguments rage on who is best!
I've figured out I like them all :D

The Singara of Kolkata/Bengal has its kissing cousins in #Odisha and #Assam too as well as in #Bangladesh! In the latter there are I am told non-veg versions too! Will report from #Dhaka when I get there!
@euphoRHEA and I have found a few good Singara makers in Navi Mumbai, the best was a grimy lil shop in Nerul which sadly shut down but Mishti Affairs in Kharghar does a pretty decent job, their Mishti Doi is domned good too!
No lest you think the south has been left out. There are some amazing variants and versions of the Samosa in the soouth esp in the Deccan and then in TN and southwards all the way to Sri Lanka!
The most awesome of these in shape is the variant known to us from a last couple of
places and caterers in Hyderabad call the #Lukmi
The Deccan had a tonne of Persian influences and the Tea shops of #Hyderabad served a folded patti samosa in a square flat shape with a smidgen of spied mince in them. This is a dying tradition and has almost vanished today
The #Lukmi made by Anjum and sourced by Raghu for me all the way from Hyderabad this week πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–
The inside of the Lukmi 😊
But the Lukmi is is special variant the regular Samosas of the Irani restos of Hyderabad both veg and nonveg are of the regular triangular 'patti' variety, I am told Punjabi Samosas have made their presence felt here too 😁😁
In Hyderabad too its a Ramzan favourite! #Samosa
A few years ago I was invited to speak at a conference at the Central Univ in Gulbarga and here much to my surprise we found a very crowded teasop (reccommended by our driver) which sold really large very packed blistery samosas. He hesitantly told us they were filled with 'meat'
aka Beef! We were ecstatic and insisted we go there. Now much to our sadness there were only a few Beef Samosas left he apologised and offered up Chicken Samosas. I'm a bit sceptical about chicken usually but much much to my surprise the samosas were some of the finest I have
ever had the good fortune to eat! They were filled with cubed boneless chicken slow cooked with onions and some garlic powder, pepper and some salt. Thats it but soooooooo yummmmmm. I would never have thought to have a Samosa revelation in #Gulbarga but I did. Little wonder that
Gulbarga was the first capital of the Bahamani Dynasty and they had huge Persian influences! Thank you Gulbarga for this! I have had many samosas in northern Karnataka but these were by far the superbest! #Karnataka #Kalburagi #Samosa Dont miss out if you ever go there :)
I have been to TN and Kerala but have not had the good fortune to eat Samosas there. I apologise for my lapse and inability to really fill in on these areas! But I can do my honest little bit for the Southern Samosa by talking about the Fish Samosa of Sri Lanka #TunaSamosa
Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful places in the world and I have had the good fortune thanks to my friend Anura Manatunga (DG Archaeology and Prof Kelaniya Univ) inviting me to teach there. The Sri Lankans love evening snacks which they eat thru the day & call #SmallEats
Amongst the plethora of sweet n savoury small eats what stands out are the absolutely mindnumbing Tuna Samosas. Filled with fresh Indian Ocean Tuna & absolutely yummerty! Much to my sadness they get over very soon & you have to either prebook or be lucky, PS book atleast 6 each☺️
Our neighbour to the East aka Burma aka Myanmaar also has its own love story with the Samosa aka the #SamusaThouk or the Samosa Soup! Samosas are dunked in a spicy dal based broth and smashed and eaten as a meal. Culinary Anthropologists feel this is a North India meets
South India in far away Burma - love story from the days of the British Raj when thousands of Indians from North and South went to Burma as a part of the British Colonial occupation. The Punjabi Samosa met the Sambhar, united and stayed behind after Independence :) #Burma #Samosa
With all the love and comments on this thread I realised I must carry on this morning! Esp since I haven't even touched upon the sweet samosas!
So with that intro it's into the breach again! #samosa #day2 #sweetsamosa
Amongst the samosas I forgot and which I have eaten I must mention the #Dal Samosas of #Gujarat. Packed with a moong dal or tuvar dal filling, spicy and thick with a mild sweetness. These keep well and can be made once & sold through the day. Also very yumm and very filling!
I have been (well deservedly) accused of not adding the #Bihari samosas. I must admit I haven't had any my Bihari friends esp the ones in Patna have let me down! πŸ˜€
I think a trip to #Patna to remedy this must be put on the bucket list! I wonder if Jharkhand has a diff takeπŸ€”
Now for the sweet samosas. Let me start by saying there are sweet samosas almost wherever there are samosas. You just have to be shameless and ask around. There are essentially 3 varieties:. fruitfilled, khoya/mava filled & my faves the Malai filled! Dry fruits are added randomly
My first introduction to the sweet samosa was at the #ParsiDairyFarm when Nariman Hoyvoy insisted we try his malai samosas some 45 years ago! The Samosa is filled with chilled thick cream, flash fried and then dunked in syrup! What was there not to love! Mum looked indulgently at
me and gently scolded Nariman uncle, god bless hi, he was a truly lovely man! His son Urvaksh still makes them I am told but only for friends and family! Parsi Dairy Farm also made the Mava Samosa and it was superb but not even a candle before the star that was the #MalaiSamosa!
I have also had the good fortune to eat Mava Samosas by the Bohri confectioners of Mumbai esp Noor and Tawakkal, both really yumm but their Khajas and Malpuas are their real forte. The Noor Sweets Malai Khaja for #brekker is truly a thing of joy! But I digress. Back to SweetSams!
Mava Samosas are made in Gujarat, MP and on the banks of the Ganga! They are also made in Kolkata where they are called Khoya Singara & Mava Singara. The Bengali variants always have dry fruits esp kismis @kaniskac should be able to tell us more, also if there is a Dhaka variant!
Samosas are eaten with a whole list of toppings,Chhole and chutney, sambhar and bhel style I have already mentioned. But the #Nagpur folks who scoff at the vadapau and cling to the samosa have some funky toppings incl the tarri of Tarri Poha and cold whipped curd, often sweet!
Samosa with Dahi is a great way to cut the spice esp for the acidically inclined and the beaten slight sweetened curd is a very welcome cooler to the mouth and stomach. Interestingly I have seen this dahi samosa trending away quietly and gaining ground. #DahiSamosa #Samosa
Now if you mention the Dahi Samosa you cannot miss out on the Samosa Chaat of the Ganga Valley!
Thought I had forgotten!! 😁😁
The Samosa & Kachori are both turned into chaat with curd, chutneys, onions, Sev, coriander & chaat masala! Honestly I prefer a #SamosaChaat to Kachori
Over the years at @katys_kitchen we have churned out many thousands of Samosas. Kheema, Vatana, Veg being the top three in numbers. The Punjabi Chicken one of the faves. The #ChineseSamosa with a spring roll filling! And the king of all the Mushroom Samosa! This is my creation!
We made the Mushroom Samosas a few years ago for a very dear client. The mushrooms are slow cooked in butter, chopped garlic and herbs & when cooled stuffed & fried! Total Umami bombs! You have to eat them to realise how amazing they are! All our clients ask for repeat orders πŸ˜€
There are many other places where I have eaten some awesome samosas. Hathi Pol in Udaipur used to make some superb ones and @euphoRHEA and I ate many on off days from Excavations at #Balathal along with the greatest Kala Jamuns in India, City Palace lane off Hathi Pol ☺️
Yet another place in Mumbai which must be mentioned is Tewari Sweets with their very Ganga Valley Samosas fried in pure cow's ghee and served with a red sugar syrup chutney. Once you eat these it's difficult to go back to the oil fried variants! #samosas #friedinghee
After 2 years of quarantine @euphoRHEA and I sneaked off for an epic 3175 km #roadtrip down the coast to Goa Mangalore Bangalore and back ... Ofcourse there had to be Samosas! And the ones in Goa were a revelation! Thank you @agentgreenglass for the recco! β€οΈπŸ’•πŸ’•
When you get to Goa you have to try out Cafe Anthony opp the church of St Anthony at Siolim for the most awesome Beef Samosas ever! They were so good that we delayed our departure from Goa so that we could pick up a fresh batch on the way out!!! #beefsamosa #siolim #siolimchurch
We met up with yet another amazing Samosa in Mangalore. We were staying with the amazing @chiashetts and her hubby who introduced us to @subhajrao and she introduced us to the best Manglorean style aloo samosas! PS they had peanuts in em πŸ˜€
So to round off this thread folks, Samosas are true love & we have to thank the traders, travellers & invaders who brought them to us. We in India though made them our own & I am sure there are more variants in India then anywhere else! Also we have taken then wherever we go!πŸ™πŸ™

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Jul 18, 2021
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