This morning I waved goodbye to my mother-in-law (MIL). Her visit had been short but involved a lot of cooking. She’d been away from home for about a month, you see, staying in hotels, and I think she missed the creation of dishes.
To be fair, I was a happy receptacle of her joyous cooking. Should you look closely, my suddenly tight shorts will prove that point.
But then, on her final day with us, my MIL asked: “What else shall I cook?”
I didn’t need to think: “Samosas,” I said. MIL makes the world’s best vegetable samosas.
MIL was hours in the kitchen, and then there were 50 raw samosas on the counter.
“How to cook them?” she asked. She knows – she has been my MIL for 17 years – that deep-frying is banned in my house because I can’t stand the way the smell clings to everything. But last time she was here we baked the samosas and, hand on heart, they were not as good from the oven as they are from the deep-fat fryer.
“I’ve got an air-fryer!” I chirruped. “Just half a teaspoon of oil! Let’s try it!” I was desperate for the deep-fried taste without the deep-fried smell.
I was also feeling slightly guilty. I bought the air-fryer – not a cheap piece of equipment – long before Christmas and have used it only once: to cook some frozen, shop-bought samosas (they turned out great).
But I worried that MIL’s fresh samosas would disintegrate in the face of the stirring ‘paddle’ in the air-fryer. However I put them in the top tray (sans paddle) and they crisped to perfection in eight minutes – four minutes one side, turn, and four the other.
MIL and I high-fived in the kitchen. Deep-fried samosas with half a teaspoon of oil! It didn’t even smell.
It took me another hour to air-fry the rest of the 50 samosas in batches of eight. I was so proud of our healthy snacks. Then DH got home.
“Lovely,” he said, snatching a samosa from the pile. “But you appear to have deep-fried yourself as well.”
“I smell?” I asked, sniffing my shirt.
“From the street,” he said.