For some strange reason, I get a lot of joy out of watching people cook. If they know how to cook, that is.
So I enjoy watching actual chefs prepare food that looks fantastically delicious, which isn’t a problem in itself, but I recently made the mistake of thinking I could be like them.
“How hard can it possibly be to make a samosa?” I asked myself.
Harder than I thought, as it turns out. Oh life, you’re a killer with those lessons.
To start, I had the wrong kind of flour, which I originally purchased to make hardtack for a history class. I mixed up the dough, which was disturbingly crumbly, but with none of my chefly instincts kicking in, I plunged valiantly ahead with the recipe.
The filling went along swimmingly, and turned out delicious (I taste as I cook, like all great chefs). Things were looking up.
I stuffed the filling into the dough, creating a few crumbly samosas that were decidedly more rectangular in shape than a triangle should be.
Shrugging off my doubts, I wisely decided to bake them instead of burning down the apartment in a grease fire. Good call, me.
While the samosas baked merrily, I threw together a quick mango chutney. (I love how the preceding sentence makes me sound competent).
“My, that smells strong,” I said to myself as I leaned in for a closer whiff.
The chutney launched a full-frontal assault on my olfactory bulbs. It charged up my nose and proceeded to wreak havoc on my frontal lobes with the ferocity of a vicious army of fire ants.
As I picked myself up off the floor, I remembered something about putting in copious amounts of vinegar and chili flakes. I guess the chutney wasn’t meant to be huffed at close range.
The chutney turned out fantastic, but tragically my decimated olfactory bulbs didn’t alert me to the fact that the samosas were burning until much too late.
Upon opening the oven door, roiling clouds of smoke billowed out. My hapless roommate traipsed down the stairs as I was viciously clearing the air with an oven mitt.
“Whatcha making?” he asked.
“Samosas,” I snarled, “and if you eat one, you’d better like it.”
I heard his tooth crack as he bit into a samosa, still faintly smoking.
“Mmm,” he said, “just like mom used to burn.”
And that’s the story of how not to make a samosa.