Gluten-Free Spicy Squash Samosas with Curried Apricot Dipping Sauce (gluten free, vegetarian, ACD)

I love Indian food. Big time. I had a major craving for samosas last weekend, and knew I had to do something about it. So, I converted my old samosa pastry dough recipe into a gluten free version. My old recipe called for yogurt, and made such a good pastry. So, I decided to venture into the world of sheep yogurt. I seemed to tolerate it just fine, and it added a tangy flavor to the crust. If you can't do any dairy, try a rice/soy/coconut yogurt substitute, or use just enough water/milk substitute to bind the flours together. I will be trying a totally dairy free pastry crust recipe in the near future, and would to try adding a bit of garbanzo flour to the flour mix. Overall, the crust was a success - tangy, crunchy, a bit chewy, and it actually held together. But like all gluten-free things, it is a bit fragile, and requires a gentle touch.

Spicy and tasty, these samosas are a little time intensive, but well worth it. Squash replaces the traditional potato in this recipe for a sweet - and colorful - twist. Fry 'em up in oil traditional style, or bake them for a low-fat version. Either way, they are tasty and delicious.

Spicy Squash Samosas

yield: 10-12 medium samosas, plus leftover filling

Samosa Filling

½ large buttercup or kabocha squash, cut into ½ inch cubes (approx 2 c chopped)
1 medium zucchini, finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
1½ c frozen peas
1 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 t cumin seed
1 t brown mustard seed
2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
½ T dried tumeric or 3-inch piece fresh, grated
½ t ground cumin
½ t red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
2 T ghee or sunflower oil

Samosa Pastry Dough

1 c millet flour
1 c quinoa flour
¼ c sweet potato starch
¼ c sweet rice flour
½ c brown rice flour
1 t salt
2 T flax seed meal
1 c sheep’s milk yogurt

Prepare the filling:

In large fry pan, melt ghee over medium-high heat. Add cumin and mustard seeds, and toast until they start to pop.

Add onion, garlic, ginger, and turmeric, and reduce heat to medium low. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add carrots, saute for 2 minutes. Add squash, cover, and saute for 5 minutes. Add zucchini, and saute until all vegetables are softened, but not mushy. Add peas just before end of cooking, and season to taste with salt, pepper, ground cumin, and red pepper flakes.

Remove mixture from heat, and let cool for about 15 minutes.

Prepare the pastry dough:

In large bowl, whisk together flours, flax, and salt to introduce air and make light.

When well mixed, make a well in the center of the flours, and pour in yogurt (or yogurt replacement). Stir together until a firm dough has formed, adding more flour or starch as necessary.

Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes or until ready to use.

Fill the samosas:

Divide dough into 10-12 sections.

On well-floured surface and with lightly moistened fingers, carefully and gently roll each ball into a 4-5 inch circle with a well-floured rolling pin, dough should be eabout 1/8 inch thick. Add flour as necessary to prevent sticking.

Place 2-3 T of the cooled filling in the center of each circle. Do not overfill - it will make the dough fall apart! Dampen the edges of the dough lightly, then fold in half. Crimp dough together with a fork, or roll the edges together if you have enough dough.

Cook ’em up:

Samosas can be baked or fried.

To bake, preheat oven to 425°. Transfer filled samosas to greased baking sheets, and gently brush with oil or ghee. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°, flipping over samosas and brushing other side with oil/ghee. Bake 15-20 more minutes. SAmosas should be golden brown and crisp - continue baking, flipping as necessary, until dough reaches desired crispness. Remove from oven, cool 5 minutes, and serve warm!

To fry, pour 2 c oil into skillet. Use an oil with a high smoke point, like sunflower, safflower, or grapeseed. Heat on medium-high until small amount of dough sizzles when dropped into oil. Gently place samosa in oil, pressing down until fully submerged. Fry for 2-3 minutes, then turn over, and fry another 2-3 minutes. Continue until dough is golden brown. Remove from oil, and drain on paper towels. Serve warm, with your favorite chutneys, sauces, or my tasty Curried Apricot Dipping Sauce...


Curried Apricot Dipping Sauce

Because of the high sugar content, I can't eat this right now, but I had to share it for all of you who are not on the ACD. This dipping sauce is amazing with samosas, or really just about anything - I used to whip it up all the time. I don't think it needs the honey, it tastes great both with and without, but feel free to add if you want it extra sweet.

1 c dried apricots, soaked and chopped
1-2 tsp curry powder, to taste
dash cayenne pepper, to taste
pinch salt
1 tsp brown rice vinegar, ume vinegar, apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1 tsp honey (optional)
water or apple juice

Place dried apricots in water. Let soak for a few hours, or place in microwave and heat for 2-3 minutes. Drain and chop.

Place apricots in blender or food processor with curry powder, cayenne, and vinegar/lemon juice, and honey (optional). Add a splash of water/apple juice, and blend. Continue adding liquid as necessary to reach desired consistency.

Yields: approx 1 cup