If someone were to ask you to write 500 words on a samosa, what would you say? Would you think it was easy or would say you couldn’t do it? If it’s the former, then give it a shot, if it’s the latter, try regardless. It is incredibly difficult to write 500 words on a samosa. Then again, I am kind of cheating by counting this. Only 68 words so far.
What is a samosa? And why do I seem obsessed with it? Well, other than the fact that I am a desi and we take our food very seriously, a samosa is the best thing you can possibly imagine. Potato chips pale in comparison to them. Heck, they aren’t even in the same league. Samosas are a world class snack. And so versatile, you can eat them with ketchup, I personally wouldn’t do it, but they taste good with ketchup, with mint chutney, yum mint chutney… with almost anything you can think of.
Bite into one, and you feel the crunchiness making echoes across the caverns of your mouth. Each bite is one avalanche from the triangle that makes up this delicious treat. And then the pieces of friend bread fall onto your tongue. Hot, cold, it makes no difference. If heaven were to be described in one food, your tongue would immediately say samosa. Past the bread, you move on to the filling. Whether it’s meat or potato, something about being deep fried encased in a layer of bread, makes the perfect ratio between whatever filling you put in it, and cooks them just the right amount. The potato to spice ratio you cannot do wrong when you put the mix in a samosa.
Have you ever seen it being made? Thin strips of the samosa covering being layered, cut, and put next to one another. The mix being made, let’s go with potatoes for the mix for now. Mashed up, spiced up, mixed in a bowl, and then carelessly, generously lathered onto one of the triangular cuts of the covering. The other one sits on top, and then some more layers are added.
Deep fried, you can hear the pot sizzling, the samosas going from caterpillar to butterfly. Not the best comparison? Yeah, probably not. From pasteurized milk to cheese. How’s that? Still a class apart, but that’s the second-best thing. Turning whatever cheese comes from into cheese, that addictive substance we all love.
A samosa can bring you back home in seconds. Have you seen the movie Ratatouille? Remember when the critic eats the ratatouille and his mind’s eye takes him years back to when he was a wee lad, and had his mother’s version of the dish. For the first time in that movie, he smiles, and for the first time, he finishes a dish instead of just tasting a bite, his nose held high and proud. He forgets to criticize food, he remembers the simple pleasure of it. No matter where in the world you have a samosa, whether it’s in New York, or from a grocery store in the States, whether it’s in Antarctica, I haven’t had the pleasure of the last, it always seems to draw you back to the first time you had one. The feelings of home. All the memories associated with it, the celebrations, the joy, the happy mumbling of your stomach, the contentment. Associations with Eid, with Holi, with family. That’s what a samosa means to me. Your turn.
Phew, 584 words.