The Shingara for Bengali’s is a part of the essence of being a Bengali. It is linked to so many occasions and memories that the mention of Shingara gets Bengalis excited no matter where they are. When I was a kid, I was often sent to the local snack stall near our house whenever any guest dropped in for an unscheduled visit. My Dida (maternal grandmother) was versatile with her shingaras. She made them using fish, mutton, cauliflower and other vegetables as stuffing. No picnic or local Adda (chitchat) was complete without the quintessential shingara which was sometimes accompanied by its sweet counterpart, the jilipi (Jalebi). I can keep going on this but now back to the recipe. There are three things regarding the dough, that you need to remember to make good shingaras. First, is to get the quantity of oil/ghee which is added to the dough. The second is kneading the dough using the right amount of water. This I have explained in my recipe. Last but not the least, rolling out the dough to get the perfect thickness for the casing to ensure it’s neither too thick or thin. Make sure the oil is at the right temperature which I have explained in the recipe. This hot item number goes well with any snack or in between meals. Once fried it’s best to dive into it to enjoy the crispiness of shingara. I assure you no one can eat just one. Happy Fooding Around.
Ingredients for the Filling :
- 5 cups Cauliflower florets (cut into small florets)
- 3 Medium sized Potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes
- 1/3rd cup green Peas
- 1 inch Ginger, grated
- 2 green Chillies, finely chopped
- 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
- ½ Tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 Tsp Coriander Powder
- ½ Tsp Garam Masala Powder
- 1 Tsp Sugar
- 2 –3 Tbsp vegetable Oil
- Salt as required
Ingredients for the Dough :
- 2 cups Maida or All Purpose Flour
- 2 Tbsp vegetable Oil or Ghee (Clarified Butter)
- ½ Tsp Kalonjee/ Kalo jeera/ Nigella Seeds
- Salt as required
- 1 pinch of Sodium Bicarbonate (cooking soda)
- Water for binding
- Oil for deep frying
Instruction for the Filling :
- Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add the cumin seeds and wait for them to crackle.
- Now add the cauliflower, the potatoes and chopped green chillies. Stir and toss for about 2 -3 minutes over medium heat. Add salt as required, stir and cover and cook for 3 -4 mins over medium-low heat. Open cover once or twice to give a good stir.
- Next lower the heat to add the green peas, turmeric powder, coriander powder and grated ginger. Cover and cook about another 2 -3 mins more or until the cauliflower, potatoes and peas are done. Open lid and add the garam masala, sugar and stir . Its avoidable to over-cook the filling.
Instruction the Dough/Casing/Shells :
- In a large bowl sieve together the flour, salt and sodium bicarbonate. Now add the kalonji (nigella seeds) and the oil or ghee (whichever you are using). Mix gently together, rubbing with your hands and mixing in the oil till the mixture is a bit crumbly.
- Add in water gradually in parts and mix the flour together to bind into a dough. The dough needs to be firm yet soft and pliable. Knead the dough for a bit till it is smooth. No cracks should show if you roll out with a rolling pin.
- The dough needs some resting time as well, preferably 20 – 30 mins. Till then you may prepare the filling. So cover and set it aside till we cook the filling.
- It is important to knead the dough for 2 -3 mins after resting.
Instruction for Preparing the Samosa (Shingara) :
- Make 10 large balls out of the prepared dough. Using circular movements of the palms, take one ball at a time and shape them into smooth, round, crack-free balls.
- Take one ball and roll it out into a circle with the help of a rolling pin. Cut the circular dough into half. One half will get you one samosa.
- Brush water on both sides of the straight edge. Fold the edges to make a cone as shown in the pictures attached. Stuff it with the filling and seal the edges. Brush with a little water if necessary. But make sure all the sides are firmly sealed together.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.
- Heat enough oil for deep frying in a deep bottom pan. When oil is hot enough (But Should Not Be Smoking) turn the heat to a medium-low. Release the samosa in small batches. Flip and fry the samosas once or twice for evenly frying all around. Can increase the flame to a medium after a while. Fry them till deep golden brown and crisp. Take them out with the help of slotted spoon. Drain them over kitchen paper tissues.
- Repeat frying with the rest of the prepared samosas.
- Serve hot accompanied with some masala chai or a hot cuppa coffee.
The Samosa dough needs to be stiff and not soft. Use just enough water as needed. The dough needs some resting time as well, preferably 20 – 30 mins. Till then you may prepare the filling. After resting remember to knead the dough for about 2 -3 mins. The dough that is rolled into circles should neither be too thick nor too thin.
Fry Samosas on moderate hot oil on low flame. It should not be cooked in very hot oil or very high flame. The oil should not bubble up immediately when you test it with a pinch of dough. The bubbles should be noticeable only after 20 -30 seconds or so.
- Serving Size: 4