Samosas are a popular snack in many cuisines, but they can also be a stunning centerpiece for your Christmas table. Sanjana Modha, a food writer and recipe developer, shares her tips on how to make a samosa tree that will impress your guests and satisfy your cravings.
A samosa tree is a creative way of arranging samosas on a cone-shaped base, resembling a Christmas tree. The samosas are filled with a spicy mixture of potatoes, peas, and paneer (Indian cheese), and fried until golden and crisp. They are then skewered onto a styrofoam cone, which is covered with green tissue paper. The samosa tree is decorated with edible silver balls, cranberries, and mint leaves, and served with a tangy tamarind chutney.
Why make a samosa tree?
Sanjana Modha says that she loves making a samosa tree because it is a fun and festive way of celebrating her heritage and culture. She says that she grew up in a Gujarati family in Britain, and that samosas were a staple in her home. She says that she wanted to create a dish that would honor her roots and also appeal to her British friends and family.
She says that a samosa tree is a great alternative to traditional Christmas dishes, especially for vegetarians and vegans. She says that samosas are easy to make, versatile, and delicious. She says that a samosa tree is also a conversation starter, as it attracts attention and curiosity from the guests.
How to make a samosa tree?
Sanjana Modha says that making a samosa tree is not as difficult as it may seem. She says that the key is to prepare the ingredients and tools in advance, and to follow these steps:
- Make the samosa filling by boiling potatoes, mashing them, and adding spices, peas, and paneer. You can also add other ingredients, such as nuts, raisins, or cheese, according to your preference.
- Make the samosa pastry by mixing flour, salt, oil, and water. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into small balls, and roll them out into thin circles. Cut each circle in half, and fold each half into a cone shape. Seal the edges with water, and fill the cones with the potato mixture. Press the edges together to close the samosas, and trim any excess pastry.
- Fry the samosas in hot oil until golden and crisp, and drain them on paper towels. You can also bake them in the oven for a healthier option.
- Cover a styrofoam cone with green tissue paper, and secure it with pins or glue. You can also use a cardboard cone, or make your own cone with a poster board.
- Skewer the samosas onto the cone, starting from the bottom and working your way up. Leave some space between the samosas, and fill the gaps with cranberries and mint leaves. Sprinkle some edible silver balls on top for extra sparkle.
- Serve the samosa tree with tamarind chutney, which you can make by boiling tamarind pulp, sugar, water, and spices, and straining the mixture. You can also use ready-made chutney, or any other sauce of your choice.
Tips and tricks
Sanjana Modha says that there are some tips and tricks that can help you make a perfect samosa tree. She says that you should:
- Make the samosas small and uniform in size, so that they fit well on the cone and look neat.
- Make the samosa pastry thin and crisp, so that it does not get soggy or break easily.
- Fry the samosas in batches, and keep them warm in the oven until you are ready to assemble the tree.
- Use a sharp knife or scissors to trim the pastry edges, and a fork or a toothpick to seal the samosas.
- Use long skewers or toothpicks to attach the samosas to the cone, and make sure they are secure and stable.
- Decorate the tree with edible and colorful items, such as cranberries, mint leaves, silver balls, or even chocolate coins or candy canes.
- Make the tree as close to serving time as possible, to keep the samosas fresh and crisp.
Sanjana Modha says that a samosa tree is a delicious and delightful way of celebrating Christmas with a twist. She says that she hopes that her recipe will inspire others to try something new and different, and to enjoy the festive season with their loved ones.