Unlike most samosas, these aren’t fried. This both makes them healthier and somehow intensifies the flavour of the filling. Cinnamon is fabulous with sweet potato. I serve these with a peppery watercress dip – a kind of Indo-Italian pesto – with coriander and lemon (once, by accident, I used orange instead and it was great, so try it). If you grow nasturtiums, use the leaves instead of watercress; it tastes unbelievable. These are smart enough to serve with drinks.
Place the 1 teaspoon cumin seeds in a dry frying pan and toast until golden and fragrant. Remove to a mortar and crush with a pestle. Put the sweet potato in a pan, cover with water and add salt. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for six to eight minutes until tender. Drain and cool. Place in a bowl and mix with the cheese, spring onions, coriander, chilli, chilli flakes, crushed cumin, cinnamon and garlic. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
Melt the butter. Lay a sheet of filo on a work surface and brush with butter. Place a second sheet on top to fit over the first. Brush this with butter too. Cut into strips about 5cm wide. Spoon 1 heaped teaspoon of filling into one corner. Fold the right corner of the strip over to the left side to create a triangle. Continue to fold the triangle along the strip to the end, cutting off surplus pastry. Repeat to use up all the pastry and filling. Brush liberally with butter and sprinkle with cumin seeds and rock salt. Bake for 12–15 minutes, until golden.
Recipe courtesy of Reza’s Indian Spice by Reza Mahammad, published by Quadrille (£17.99, hardback). Photos © Martin Poole.