Hillel Communications.


Keep calm and curry on

by Hillel News | Nov 29, 2017 |

What do coconut, curry and coriander have to do with Shabbat? Ask the 50 students at Trinity College who enjoyed an Indian Jewish feast this fall! Students from Hillel and the International House learned how to make Potato and Pea Samosas, Chana Masala and other Jewish Indian dishes while learning about the diversity of our community. The event was funded in part by a grant from Mosaic United.

“Like many other people, I was unaware of the Jewish community in India. I was thrilled to learn about this community through a culinary lens by cooking and tasting Jewish Indian recipes. The combination of coconut, curry, coriander and other spices, plus the commentary by Roni Hyam about the distinct Cochin, Bagdadi, and Bnai Israel Jewish communities made for one unique Shabbat,” said Trinity sophomore Marjorie Rednor.

Check out some recipes below!

Potato and Pea Samosas

These delicious flakey triangles are a cross between Israeli burekas and Indian samosas. Samosas are traditionally deep fried, but this savory potato and pea mixture is baked in puff pastry until golden brown. The samosas can be prepared in advance and frozen before baking.

Recipe makes 36 triangles


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 medium to large russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2 packages Puff Pastry Pepperidge Farm Sheets, defrosted
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine 
  • Parchment paper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Boil potatoes in salted water to cover until tender, around 15 minutes. Drain, put in large bowl and mash into large pieces. (Do not make smooth mashed potatoes.) Add frozen peas and set aside.

Heat olive oil on medium heat, add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. When they begin to sizzle, add onions. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, cook another minute or two. Add rest of spices. Mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes more, careful not to burn spices or onions. Add onion spice mixture to potatoes, mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Place one puff pastry sheet on a piece of parchment paper and unfold. You will have a square with three equal lines from folds. Cut pastry along the three. Turn sheet 45 degrees to cut again into thirds, making 9 squares. Take a rounded teaspoon of filling and place in each square. Fold over and press to close. Use tines of a fork to press edges together. Repeat with the rest of the puff pastry and filling. (To freeze for later use, put triangles on plates, cover with plastic wrap and put in freezer for an hour or until partly frozen. Then put them in a freezer bag and keep in freezer.)

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place filled triangles about an inch apart. Repeat with all the puff pastry triangles. (This recipe makes 4 baking sheets.) Melt butter or margarine in microwave and lightly brush tops of samosas. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden. Serve with mango chutney or sauce of your choice.

Chana Masala 

Indian Chick Peas and Tomatoes

Serves 2 as main dish, 4 as side dish

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 dice onion (1 cup)
  • 1-2 diced tomatoes (1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder (Careful – this can make the dish quite hot)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish (optional)


Heat olive oil on medium heat. Add cumin seeds and cook a few seconds until they begin to sizzle. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add turmeric and stir well. Add ginger and garlic, stir well and continue cooking for one minute.

Stir in tomatoes, garam masala, red chili powder, and salt. Cook for a 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Add drained chickpeas. Add ¼ cup or enough water to make a thick sauce. Simmer the mixture for 5-7 minutes until chickpeas are heated through. Don’t overcook – the chickpeas will get too mushy. This dish should be like a stew, not a soup.

Can be served over rice or cauliflower rice, garnished with parsley or cilantro.

comments powered by Disqus