[Sca-cooks] Indian dinner at Pennsic?

Huette von Ahrens ahrenshav at yahoo.com
Sun Jun 17 00:46:51 PDT 2007

--- ranvaig at columbus.rr.com wrote:

> > >   I'm camping with Little India, who are doing their Biyari, period
> > >Indian dinner on Tues night.
> >
> >Do you know what their sources are? Period Indian cookbooks are a bit
> >scarce, although there are, of course, food references in the
> >literature.
> I've been asked research some recipes from the Nimatnama.   Someone else is doing some research
> too, and I don't know what sources she is using.  I helped cook three years ago, I saw a copy of
> the recipes when we were cooking, but was not able to get a copy for myself.  The food was very
> good and seemed appropriate, but I really don't know how close to the source they were.  If you
> have any suggestions I'll share them with the lady who is charge.
> Ranvaig

Hi Ranvaig!

I am not His Grace, but one of the big things to remember is that capsicum peppers didn't arrive
in India until just after 1600.  So any curry you make should be spiced with long pepper, which
was native and not with capsicum peppers.

Here is a recipe that I have had success with:

Lamb Samosas

>From the Sultan's Book of Delights (late fifteenth century)

Another kind of Ghiyath Shahi's samosas: take finely minced deer meat and flavour ghee with
fenugreek and, having mixed the mince with saffron, put it in the ghee.  Roast salt and cumin
together.  Having added cumin, cloves, coriander and a quarter of a ratti of musk to the mince,
cook it well.  Put half of the minced onion and a quarter of the minced dry ginger into the
meat.  When it has become well-cooked, put in rosewater.  Take it off and stuff the samosas.
Make a hole in the samosa with a stick and fry it in sweet-smelling ghee and serve it (when)
tender.  By the same method of any kind of meat that is desired, can be made.



1 lbs ground lamb
1 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
1 tsp ground fenugreek
1/4 tsp saffron
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp coriander
1 large sweet onion, minced [1 cup approx.]
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp rose water

Put ghee in a large frying pan and add fenugreek and saffron, stirring for a few minutes.  Add
lamb and start to brown. Add salt, cumin, cloves, coriander onion and ginger, stirring until the
meat is brown and fragrant.  Add rose water and remove from heat.



2 cups unbleached flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
1/2 to 3/4 cup water 

Sift flour and salt together. Make a well in the center of the mixture and quickly pour in ghee
and water. Stir briskly until combined, gradually adding more water if necessary. You should aim
for a slightly moist dough that sticks together. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for 10
minutes until smooth and elastic, cover with damp towel. 


To assemble samosa, break off pieces of dough (leaving what's left under the towel) and shape into
balls. Roll each ball into a circle about 1/10 of an inch thick and 5 inches across. Cut the
circle in half. In one side put filling, fold half of the half circle over to make a triangle.
Seal by brushing a bit of water along the edges and pinching it together with your finger.  Heat 2
inches ghee in a skillet or pan to 375 degrees. Put in samosas and let it fry to a golden brown on
each side. Then drain on cloth or paper towel and eat.

Note:  I didn't experiment with the roasting cumin and salt together.  But I added both to the
filling.  I didn't have any musk to add and couldn't think of an adequate substitute, so I left it
out.  I followed a modern Indian recipe for the pastry since the original was so vague.

Good Luck!


My thoughts are whirled like a potter's wheel;   King Henry VI, part I: I, v 

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