Samosas for GCSE

I never made samosas in the 1970s – I was too busy teaching traditional British recipes like soused herrings and getting them to starch pillowcases for the GCSE- ugh.

But in the 21st century we’ve got glorious recipes from everywhere, so here’s mine!

It’s been tested and adapted and tested and adapted for classroom use! This recipe is baked – it’s traditional to deep fry samosas, but this is too dangerous in a busy classroom.

Makes 6 samosas or 8 smaller ones.


Samosa recipe


150 g plain flour

large pinch salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

3 tablespoons oil (45  g)

cold water to mix ( about 3 tbs – 45 g)


1 small potato

1 tbs oil

Masala mixture – 1 teaspoon mixture of cinnamon, cumin and chilli powder

1 cm finely grated ginger

1/2 small chilli finely chopped

1/2 onion very finely chopped (60 g)

1/2 carrot peeled and grated

1 tbs frozen peas – you can use cauliflower, spring onions, and other vegetables

50 g feta or paneer

small bunch coriander finely chopped

Oil to brush on pastry


  1. Put the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and work in the oil with your fingers.
  2. Add the cold water bit by bit to make to a stiff dough.
  3. Knead for 5 minutes until smooth then cover in cling film and rest for 20 minutes.
  4. Prepare the filling – Wash and chop the unpeeled potato into small chunks and boil in salted water for 10 minutes. Drain when cooked.
  5. Heat the oil in a pan and cook the masala mixture until it smells spicy (2 minutes) and add the ginger and chilli.
  6. Add the onion and fry until until soft (5 minutes) then add the carrot and other vegetables such as frozen peas. Stir in the cooked potato and feta cheese or paneer.
  7. Add the coriander to the filling mixture.
  8. Preheat the oven 180 C Fan.
  9. Divide the pastry into 6 or 8 balls of equal weight.
  10. Roll out one ball at a time to a 10-12 cm circle, keeping the rest under a damp cloth.
  11. Wet round one edge with water and make into a cone shape.
  12.  Spoon in the filling into the cone, wet the edge and seal to make the samosa. Repeat for remaining dough balls and place on a baking tray.
  13. Brush the samosas with oil and bake for 30 minutes until the pastry is firm and lightly golden. Serve warm with relish.

Serve with cucumber relish

1/2 cucumber peeled

1 spring onion finely chopped

2 tsp light vinegar

salt and pepper and a sprinkling of sugar




Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Chicken liver pate

This was part of my Awful Offal lesson, trying to encourage students to like liver!

This is made from chicken livers which are cheap and delicious.




1 onion very finely chopped

120 g butter

2 crushed cloves garlic

450 g chicken livers – cut off bits

200 g bacon pieces

salt and black pepper

juniper berries and bay leaves (2017 ingredients)

1 tbs brandy – not allowed in the classroom!


  1. Fry the onion in 50 g butter until soft but not coloured.
  2. Add the garlic, bacon bits and chicken livers and fry until cooked through – you can use 2 frying pans and fry both at the same time
  3. Season with salt, pepper then whizz in the food processor with 30 g of butter. Stir in the brandy if used.
  4. Taste and season more and put the pate into a dish, stir in 5 juniper berries, pour over the remaining melted butter and decorate with juniper berries and bay leaves.
  5. Leave to cool then chill in the fridge.
  6. Serve with hot toast or crisp breads.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Cucumber and mint soup

2 large cucumber

olive oil


white wine vinegar

lemon juice


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


Serves 6

3 large aubergines cut into 1 cm slices

1 tbs vegetable oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

750 g minced lamb

400 g can chopped tomatoes

1 heaped teaspoon cinnamon

3 tbs oil



75g butter

75g plain flour

600 ml milk

grated nutmeg

50 g Parmesan cheese

2 medium beaten eggs


  1. Put the aubergine slices in a colander or sieve and sprinkle with salt. Leave for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the onion, garlic and minced lamb and stir and fry for 10 minutes to cook the meat.
  3. Stir in the flour, tomatoes, cinnamon, bay leaves, and oregano and cook for 30 minutes with the lid on the pan.
  4. Heat 1 tbs oil in a frying pan and fry the aubergine slices until slightly golden and tender. Layer some slices on the base of an ovenproof dish and season with pepper.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Raw beetroot salad

Serves 4


2 beetroot peeled

1/4 finely chopped onion

salt, pepper

celery salt and paprika

1 tbs sherry vinegar or other vinegar

1 tbs olive oil

fresh dill or parsley finely chopped


  1. Grate the beetroot using a grater or the grating disk on a food processor.
  2. Stir in the finely chopped onion – very finely chopped.
  3. Season with salt, pepper, celery salt and paprika.
  4. Stir in the vinegar, oil and finally toss in the chopped dill or parsley.
  5. Chill for an hour before serving.
  6. This salad will keep for 2-3 days and the flavour improves!



Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Tarte Tatin

Use a range of autumn apples to get the tang and sweetness of the varieties then a treat of French butter to give the buttery caramel topping.

tarte tatin

Serves 6


4 medium sized apples (150 g each) – 2 Cox, 2 green (Granny Smith) , 1 cooking apple (150 g)

200 g granulated sugar

50 g French unsalted butter

50 ml water

pinch of salt

Shortcrust Pastry

220 g plain white flour

30 g caster sugar

120 g French unsalted butter

1 medium egg, beaten + 1 tablespoons cold water


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Choose a cm round pan that cooks on top of the stove and in the oven.
  2. Make the pastry. Mix the sugar with the flour, add pieces of butter and rub in or use a food processor to make breadcrumbs.
  3. Stir in the beaten egg with water and mix to a soft but not sticky dough.
  4. Shape into a ball and leave to chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  5. Peel and core the apples, cut into quarters and leave uncovered in the fridge.
  6. Put the sugar in a large, heavy frying pan with 50 ml water and cook gently and stir until it becomes golden. This takes about 4-5 minutes depending upon the heat.
  7. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and salt.
  8. Arrange the apples in the sugar and butter in the pan, round side down. Cut into smaller pieces if there are gaps. Cook for 5 minutes then leave to cool. If the apples are too wet, remove and cook down the buttery caramel. Put the apples back.
  9. Roll out the pastry to make a circle slightly larger than the pan. Put the pastry on top of the pan and tuck in around the fruit.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes until golden then cool for 5 minutes.
  11. Put a plate on top and turn the pan over so that the tarte turns upside down onto the plate.
  12. Serve with creme fraiche.


Filed under Uncategorized


In hot summer it’s a good time to make this quick cold soup – serve with ice.

100g breadcrumbs – made in food processor

1 kg tomatoes, chopped

1 red and 1 yellow or green pepper, deseeded and chopped

1/2 a large cucumber, peeled and chopped

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

100 ml good quality olive oil

50 ml apple vinegar

salt and black pepper

Garnish – hard boiled egg, chopped black olives, small pieces of cucumber, mint and parsley


  1. Soak the breadcrumbs in a little water.
  2. Put the chopped tomatoes, red and green peppers, cucumber and olive oil in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Squeeze the water out of the bread and add to the mixture and whizz some more.
  4. Add the oil, vinegar and seasoning and chill until ready to serve.
  5. Add some ice cubes just before serving and present at table with the garnishes.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized