Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vegan Mofo #7 - Isa & Terry’s Samosa Stuffed Baked Potatoes...

Vegan Mofo #7 - Isa & Terry’s Samosa Stuffed Baked Potatoes

The Book - Veganomicon
The Author - Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero
The Recipe - Samosa Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Page # 60
Difficulty - Easy
Duration - 1 hour 30 minutes roughly, unless you bake potatoes in advance.

Who doesn’t love a stuffed baked potato, or a potato skin? Am I right? They seem to appear on the appetizer menu of every American-style restaurant, and are a popular finger food at parties. I always loved baked potatoes growing up - perhaps I should amend that, I still love them I just eat them far less frequently - and when I took a home economics class at 14 one of the first things we learned how to make was a ‘loaded baked potato skin’ Before taking that class I don’t think I’d ever cooked anything in my life. Sure I’d been around the kitchen a lot when my mom was cooking. Many nights I’d stand over the counter talking to her and watching as she made dinner. Sometimes she let me help mix or stir things especially when I was younger, but I’d never actually cooked. When I made those potato skins and they turned out brilliantly on the first try I was so proud of myself that I couldn’t wait to run home and make them for my family. Surprisingly after looking over the recipe and providing a little kitchen supervision my mom allowed me to make them for us. I say surprisingly because as wonderful as my mom is, for whatever reason growing up she was very particular about her kitchen. She would never, ever let us kids use the stove for anything other then boiling water to make boxed macaroni and cheese. There are very few occasions that I can remember cooking at home, and on only two of those occasions did I actually cook for my whole family. The rest of those times was usually me using leftover rice to whip up a batch of fried rice for lunch or dinner if I found myself on my own for dinner. But back to the potatoes! They turned out fantastically and my whole family praised them, ever since I guess I’ve been a little bit in love with baked potato skins.

Then there’s Indian food, which I love and adore! The textures, the flavors, the aromas! Just walking into an Indian restaurant gets my mouth watering. Strangely though Vancouver and the greater Vancouver area has a large Indian population and many very good Indian restaurants it wasn’t until I was 21 that I had real honest to Buddha Indian food. It was at my bachelorette party actually if you can believe that. My very good friend A, who is Canadian born but who’s parents are from India brought along samosa’s and chutney. This was my first ever introduction to the popular Indian appetizer and though they were quite spicy - she didn’t ask for mild - I absolutely loved them. To this day samosa and sweet tamarind chutney are one of my favorite parts of Indian Cuisine. It is a rare day indeed that I’ll ever pass up a samosa that’s offered to me. However as much as I love them making samosa at home can be a bit of a pain. Easy enough to be sure, it’s just time consuming. Also I try to shy away from fried foods, so I fear if I start making them at home I’ll never want to stop!

That’s what I love so much about this dish. These little appetizer stuffed potatoes skins are both delicious and ingenious. Combining a lovely east meets west idea. They have all the rich and spicy flavor of a samosa, all the ingredients you’d find in a samosa, yet they’re assembled in a familiar western way. They’re also quite versatile. Eat them plain as they are or serve them with a small bowl of non-dairy sour cream for dipping or even a small bowl of tamarind chutney to dip or drizzle over top. This is the perfect dish for those days where you’re feeling like a samosa but are to broke too get take-out and too lazy to make them yourself, or if you’re just looking for something a bit healthier.

I’ve made these twice so far. Once for just my husband and I and once for a party I threw. I wasn’t sure how they’d go over at a party if I labeled them Samosa stuffed potatoes. You know how people are, anything remotely foreign sounding can get their hackles up. So I labeled them ‘East meets West stuffed potatoes’ and people ate them up. There were a lot of oo’s and ahh’s and I received a lot of compliments afterwards. However it must be noted that I did make a few changes. The biggest change is that I simply found the recipe under spiced. I found I had to nearly double all the spicing suggestions, but that might just be me. As I’ve said before I like bold flavor not mild. I suggest measuring out all the spices as listed first then tasting and seeing if they’re too your liking before adding in more. Secondly I found the potatoes to be a bit dry, and not as creamy as I’d like. This was an easy fix though. I just added in 1-2 tbsp of Earth Balance and that gave them a lovely buttery whipped texture.

If you like samosa and you like potato skins this is a must try recipe! And may I say that ‘Veganomicon’ is a wealth of great creative and interesting recipes. So far I’ve only made a handful of things from it but each dish has turned out aces. Though fair warning some of the recipes may appear to be quite intimidating with all of their steps. Let me assure you that the recipes are not hard, though they may on occasion be time consuming and require a little forethought and advanced prep. Though I can assure you it’s always worth it.


  1. This is one of my favorite dishes from Veganomicon! I agree that samosas are super delicious, but the pastry aspect stops me from making them at home. (That sounds like a lot of work for an appetizer...) But the baked samosa potatoes give all of the flavor and hand-held quality without the pastry folding and frying.

    That's funny that you changed the name to make them more appealing to your less-than-adventurous party-goers. I've had similar things happen at my parties when muhammara (not by my choosing) was suddenly getting called "taco dip". It's from a completely different region, but I guess that made it more accessible.

  2. Whoa! I can't believe I've never made those.

  3. These were SO delicious! I couln't stop eating them. I've had such amazing meals since going vegan. I would never have realized food could be THIS fantastic as an omnivore. I had great food, sure, but the ingenuity in some vegan dishes just blows my mind. GO VEGANS! - Matt