From a very young age, one of Neven's favourite pastimes was to shadow his mother in the kitchen, watching her cook; his pastime soon became ...
for the samosas:
sunflower oil, for cooking
1 onion (peeled and finely chopped)
450 g lean minced lamb
0.5 tsp cumin seeds
1 garlic clove (peeled and crushed)
1 small red chilli (de-seeded and finely chopped)
1 tblsp freshly grated root ginger
0.5 tsp each of turmeric, ground coriander and garam masala
2 tblsp chopped coriander
275 g packet filo pastry, thawed (about 6 sheets in total)
1 tblsp milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
mango chutney, to serve
coriander leaves, to garnish
for the raita:
200 g greek yoghurt
2 tblsp chopped mint
100 g cucumber (de-seeded and diced)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
The filo pastry used to wrap these is surprisingly easy to work with, but do keep it covered with a clean, damp tea towel while not in use, or it may dry out. Allow the samosas to cool slightly before serving as the pastry is brittle initially and needs to soften. If you prefer to bake them, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4), arrange on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper, brush with egg wash and bake for 15–20 minutes until crisp and golden brown.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the sunflower oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2–3 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the minced lamb and brown thoroughly for 6–8 minutes, breaking up any lumps with the back of a wooden spoon.
Add the cumin seeds to the pan with the garlic, chilli, ginger, turmeric, ground coriander and garam masala. Mix well to combine and cook for another minute, stirring. Fold in the fresh coriander and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely.
To make the raita, place the yoghurt in a bowl with the mint, cucumber and lemon juice. Mix well to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with cling film and chill until needed.
Unroll the sheets of pastry and cut the stack lengthways into four long stacks of strips about 5cm (2in) wide. Place a tablespoonful of the filling on one strip, about 2.5cm (1in) from the end. Fold the bottom corner of the pastry diagonally over the filling, so that the corner touches the opposite side to make a triangle. Beat the egg and milk together and brush a little on the opposite end. Then fold over the filled triangular corner and continue folding it along the whole strip into a neat triangular parcel. Repeat to make the rest of the samosas – you should end up with 24 in total.
Pour some sunflower oil into a deep-fat fryer or half fill a deep-sided saucepan and heat it to 190°C (375°F). Carefully place the lamb samosas into the oil in batches and cook for 2–3 minutes until crisp and golden brown, turning with tongs halfway through cooking. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well on kitchen paper.
Allow the samosas to cool slightly and then arrange them on plates in overlapping lines. Place a spoonful of the raita and mango chutney on each plate. Scatter the coriander over the samosas to garnish.