I’ve become slightly obsessed with trying bread and pastry recipes that call for making the dough with a hot liquid. The Japanese make milk bread using hot milk, a technique that produces a lofty, feathery white bread that is a staple at Asian bakeries.
Tangzhong is a warm flour-and-water paste traditionally used in China to make buns with a soft, springy texture and tiny air bubbles. I’ve made several recipes using the doughy starter with great results.
So, when I spotted a recipe by Nadiya Hussain, winner of the sixth season of the “Great British Baking Show” in 2015, that uses the boiling water and oil technique to make samosa pie, I was all in. Hussain has gained great success as a cookbook author and host of her own cooking show series, “Nadiya’s Family Favourites.” This recipe was one she had prepared on the first episode.
Samosas are a popular Indian street food. They are flaky, triangular-shaped pastries filled with spicy potatoes, chicken or lamb. Hussain’s twist was to season the pastry with turmeric, and instead of making the pastry into small individual triangles, she molded it into an 8-inch springform pan. Then she filled the pie with ground lamb, potatoes, peas, onions, ground ginger, granulated garlic, cumin seeds, red pepper flakes and minced cilantro.
Next, she made a circular layer of pastry to place on top of the pie. She crimped the edges of the topping pastry with the edges of the bottom pastry, and put it in the oven to bake. The pie can be served warm or at room temperature.
I learned a few things when I made this show-stopping, tall-edged, golden-brown dish. Most important: Use disposable, food-grade rubber gloves when mixing the dough. I did not and suffered the consequences of neon yellow fingernails for a few days from the turmeric.
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Since the meat mixture needs to be cooked and cooled before filling the pie shell, make it the day before. It allows the spices to mellow and, I think, gets more flavorful with the resting time.
The crust and filling are full of flavor, even at room temperature, which is the way I like it.
When you serve it, use a serrated knife to cut through the pastry because the crust is sturdy. That’s the reason Hussain suggested on the show to “wrap the pie in a tea towel to transport to picnics.”
I made a bowl of raita — a refreshing condiment of yogurt and cucumber — to serve with the pie.
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