Samosa is a dish that has been around since 10th century. Regarded as fit for nobility, found across several countries (and adopted by many more) Samosa is a popular snack across the globe today.
Although every country and region has a different adaptation of the dish, samosa is basically a triangular pastry stuffed with a spicy savoury filling.
Samosa remains one of the most popular teatime Indian snacks. It's served all by itself or accompanied by a relish or sauce (commonly called chutney). It is also eaten as 'chat' – served with curried chickpeas and diced fresh onion or yoghurt and tangy sauces. If you haven't sampled it I suggest you must try it at one of these top five Samosa serveries in Melbourne.
1. Bikaner A great curry café nestled in the 'Little India' area of Dandenong. A plate of samosa chat here costs $6.50 while $2 for a single piece. Also worth trying are other chat items on the list and the curries (great value) are simply amazing. To finish off your meal, enjoy a plate of Indian sweets or mithai – from a huge and tempting selection on display. The place is always bustling with people and on weekends you'll have a wait for a table, but I can assure you the food is worth it.
Where: Bikaner Sweet & Curry Cafe, Shop 5/ 52b Foster St, Dandenong VIC 3175
Ph: 03 9792 9246
2. Funky Curry It's a chain of cafes in Melbourne – one each in Docklands, South Melbourne, Malvern and two in CBD. However, my personal favourite is the one at Docklands. You'd pay $5.50 for a plate of samosa chat and $2 for a veggie samosa. They also serve a non-veg version - meat samosa at $2.50 a piece. At lunch, they offer combo meals from a huge selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian curries. What's even better is they change the menu everyday, so you can try a different dish each time you visit. Also worth trying is a plate of aloo chat – small, savoury potato cakes served steaming hot with yoghurt, tangy sauces, onion and coriander.
Where: 401 Aquavista Building Shop T109, 10 Dopelway, Docklands 3008. For other café locations, click here.
Ph: 03 9670 9090
3. Aangan The popularity of this place can be judged by the simple fact that a booking is advised any day of the week. It's endless and impressive à la carte list has a huge selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. A plate of samosa (set of two) costs $5.50 while a serve of samosa chat (served hot with yoghurt and tangy chutney) is $7.50. Also recommended is a plate of Chicken 65 (batter fried chicken stir-fried in special sauces, chillies and curry leaves) and kebabs from their charcoal fired oven. They also have banquet meal options for you to try a variety of dishes in a budget.
Where: 559 Barkly Street, West Footscray
Ph: 03 9689 4175
Inspired by the flavours of the colourful Indian state of Gujarat, Gujjus is a great place to enjoy a variety of vegetarian Indian snacks and chat. A samosa here costs $2 per serve while a plate of samosa chat (served in a bed of creamy yoghurt and tangy sauces) is $5.90. Also try the samosa choley chat – samosa served with curried chickpeas and two types of chutney. Apart from that, they serve some of the most delectable snacks like aloo chat, papri chat, pav bhaji, pani puri and more. Check out the menu here. Accompanied by a glass of fresh buttermilk, a thali (combo meal of curries, bread and rice) is the perfect way to complete your dining experience. But you must not leave without picking a bag of freshly made takeaway snacks.
Where: 24 Burwood Road, Hawthorn East, VIC 3122. There's another restaurant in Malvern.
Ph: 03 98184880
5. Maharaja Tandoori Cuisine They have two restaurants – one each in Preston and Heidelberg - both offering good food and plenty of options from their dining and banquet menus. A plate of samosa (two piece per serve) is $4.95 while samosa chat is $5.95. Served with chickpea curry, tamarind and mint sauces, it's a must-try. Also very popular are their Vindaloo curries (with chicken/lamb/prawn) and paneer tikka masala (tandoori cottage cheese chunks in gravy).
Where: 560 High Street, Preston 3072, Victoria. Another restaurant in Heidelberg.
Ph: 03 9471 0398
And after writing all this, I suddenly have a craving for more.