Samosa is an exotic and mouth-watering snack that occupies a high position in the Indian cuisine.
It is mainly a snack and is often looked down upon by health conscious freaks as it is, like all other snacks, a bit fattening. The Samosa comes in a variety of flavours and textures and this helps keep the popularity of this Indian delicacy intact. The ingredients in Samosa are usually a blend of mixed vegetables and looks more like a pastry triangle. Nowadays Samosas have fillings of meat making it even more irresistible. The best part of this dish is that you just cannot stop at one piece. If you do, you would be doing a grave injustice to your cravings.
History of the Samosa
Now, here is a real shocker: the Samosa was never Indian. Yes, you read it right! The neatly folded snack actually travelled all the way from Central Asia many centuries ago. But, thankfully, it adapted to the tastes of the locals and became one of the main appetizers in India. It is believed that the Samosa travelled from Egypt to Libya and from Central Asia to India. It was originally named Samsa derived from the Persian word, Sansobag. It was introduced in South Asia during the Delhi Sultanate rule although many historians credit the traders for bringing the recipe of this snack to this part of the world. But soon after the Samosa earned the blessings of the Indian Royalty and the food became fit for a king. Gradually the popularity of the dish spread across the Indian population and rest of the world and it is heartening to note that this dish is readily available in many snack stores and restaurants across Southeast Asia, UK and even US!
Variations of Samosa
Today, Samosa is very popular in each region of India and even in countries like Singapore where there is a sizeable Indian population. It is believed that the biggest secret to its popularity is in the different varieties of fillings that are used nowadays. In countries like Kazakhstan, the Samosa is actually baked giving it a thicker crust. The fillings are usually minced lamb, onion and even pumpkins. In India, the Hyderabad version of Samosa is only filled with meat and is quite crusty compared to the regular variety that is available elsewhere in India. In the Middle East, the Samosa is filled with feta cheese, onions and minced chicken and in Jewish cuisine mashed chickpeas are used as a filling in Samosas.
How healthy is it?
Now, this one is a real bouncer! It is important to remember that if you are having snacks then you need to forget about your calorie intake for some time. Believe it or not, only one piece of potato-filled Samosa has as much as 300 calories. Even the tiny versions have around 30 calories! But much to our disappointment, we have found out that it is not humanly possible to stop at just one Samosa. So if you are having just 2 Samosas then your calorie quota for the day is almost half covered.
How popular is it?
As discussed, Samosa is mainly had as an entree or an appetizer. Apart from India, Samosa is also prepared in various other countries (albeit with different fillings) like Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Maldives, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda et al. It is interesting to note that Samosas in Nepal are called Singadas and this term is widely used to describe this dish in Eastern part of India especially West Bengal. How the Nepalese term ‘Singada’ entered the local vocabulary in West Bengal requires another level of research but it is amazing to note that how one snack can mitigate language barriers between two nations!
Where can I get it in Singapore?
You will hardly find anyone (except a few tourists) thronging the restaurants and snack stores and eating Samosas. The real fun in enjoying the snacks lies in eating in the comfort of your home and possibly in front of your television set. Thankfully there are now food delivery apps like foodpanda who will take the responsibility of collecting your Samosas from your preferred restaurant and delivering it straight to your home. Le Rida on Robertson Quay serves 2 pc Samosas at SGD 7.00 and these have fillings of green peas, nuts, and herbs. A must-try if you are really a big fan of this dish! Annalakshmi restaurant on Havelock road is yet another place that deserves special mention for its Samosas. There are many others where you can get Samosas but these two are class apart!