10 October 2010

SUNDAY SAVORIES: Chickpea mushroom curry and samosas

Yeah, remember when I thought I would post one of these every week? HAH! However, this was a good night's cooking.

So, some friends have an annual party called "Around the World." They supply the place, the drinks, and punchcards - going "around the world" is drinking drinks with different alcohol bases. Sounds kinda like a grownup frat party - but then there's the FOOD. For entry to Around the World, you have to bring a non-American dish to share. Every year (for me), the food is the most memorable part.

This year, I went with Indian. I LOVE vegetable samosa, but hate how expensive they are in Spokane (in Manchester on Curry Mile, I could get them for next to nothing). Now I know why they're expensive: they take FOREVER.

I adjusted about 4 different samosa recipes and just gave it a shot. And! They turned out. When I realized that the dough I had made would only make 12 samosa (and there are a LOT of people at Around the World), I also threw together this curry.

Vegetable Samosa

2 large baking potatoes
1 package of frozen peas and carrots
1.5 tsp coriander
1 tsp garam masala powder
1.5 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
salt to taste

1 1/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat - next time, I might try chickpea flour)
1 container of plain yogurt (about 6 Tbs - I used Greek yogurt)
1/2 tsp salt
a little water

1 egg, beaten

Peel the potatoes and either bake or boil until tender enough to mash.

While the potatos are boiling, mix the pastry dough. Mix the flour and salt and then integrate the yogurt - this is messy and inexact, but you want an elastic dough that is neither sticky nor too dry. Don't worry if it's not working at first, because this dough doesn't need to rise, you're going to knead for 5 to 10 minutes, which is about how long it took me to get it to the right texture.

When the potatoes are done, mash them, leaving some chunks of potato. After they're mashed, integrate in the spices and the peas and carrots (defrosted by now, hopefully). This is best done with your hands, so just let the potatoes cool a bit.

Pull a piece of dough a little larger than a golf ball from the lump. Roll it in your hands to get an even ball shape. Flatten it with your palm and lay it on a floured surface. Roll it out until it is roughly square or circular, then put a little less than a teaspoon's worth of the stuffing in the center. Take your eggwash and put it around the edges of the dough. You're going to seal these to one another by making a kind of tri-fold hat shape. Or whatever! The shape doesn't really matter.

Put a piece of parchment or tinfoil in the bottom of your baking pan. Put the samosas in, leaving room between each one. Put into a pre-heated 350 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes.

I'll post the curry recipe later!

02 October 2010

It Gets Better

In the last month, five youth's suicides because of bullying have been heavily publicized by the media: 15 year old Justin Aaberg, 15 year old Billy Lucas, 19 year old Raymond Chase, 13 year old Asher Brown, and 19 year old Tyler Clementi.

Four young people whose deaths are likely directly related to bullying due to their real or perceived sexual orientation. And how many more are there? We know that LGBT youth are at a disproportionate risk for suicide, homelessness, and risky behavior. We know, but what does the LGBT community do?

One thing we do is support organizations like Odyssey Youth Center in my hometown and support the Odyssey Masquerade, a fundraiser to ensure that LGBT youth have a safe, supportive place to go and food to eat.

Another thing we can do is let them know that things get better. When I saw that Dan Savage was spearheading a campaign for LGBT teens called "It Gets Better," I thought that maybe I could put aside my antipathy for his fat-shaming, woman-hating bullshit that comes out every once in a while. And I did.