True samosas are not made with filo pastry – but I had some filo left over from my tartlets and thought it would be a good use of the pastry. Proper samosas are also deep-fried, whereas mine are baked in the oven. So, although the filling is still a fair amount of work, these work out much quicker and easier than the traditional samosas.
1. For the asparagus, trim the stalk and peel the spears, rinse and boil in water for 3 minutes until firm but tender. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain again on kitchen paper. When drained slice diagonally into 3cm lengths. Set the tips aside.
2. Boil fresh peas for about 3 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water and drain again. Set aside. For frozen peas – cook from frozen (see point 4 below).
3. Peel the potatoes and boil for about 20 minutes until almost done. Tender, but still quite firm.
4. Heat a frying pan on medium high heat, put the ghee or oil and butter in a pan and add the mustard seeds, cook for 30 seconds. Add the onion and fry for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the garlic and ginger and lower the heat, continue to fry for 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and stir, then add the spices and a good pinch of salt and several gratings of black pepper. Continue to fry for two minutes, stirring continuously. Then add the water and the sugar (and frozen peas, if using) and cook until half the liquid has evaporated. Add the asparagus (and fresh cooked peas, if using) and continue to cook, stirring gently, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the lemon and stir, and then the parsley. Adjust the seasoning.
5. Preheat the oven to 180C, gas 4.
6. To make the samosas, take a sheet of pastry and cut it in half lengthwise to make a rough square. (Keep the remaining pastry under a damp cloth to avoid drying out.) Brush the pastry all over with melted ghee or butter. Place a spoonful of mixture on the pastry near the bottom edge in the middle, imagine two folds going up the pastry either side of the mixture making three even strips, fold each edge over on top of each other evenly. You will now have a long strip with equal widths of pastry and the mixture covered at the bottom. Next pull up the bottom, with the mixture inside and turn it sideways so the bottom edge lines up with the bottom side of the strip, making a rough triangle. Next fold to the right, keeping a triangular shape. Keep making triangular folds, moving the mix from sided to side. The final fold will hold the filling inside the samosa. Place with the loose flap down on a baking sheet. Brush the samosa with melted ghee or butter and sprinkle with black sesame seeds, if using. Repeat for the remaining samosas.
7. Bake the samosas in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Serve with a sweet chutney.